Jillian Johnstone


She's used to the sound;
Two-twenty in the morning,
him~ guessing that there's some logic,
some reason why the
white snow hangs like a resin
on pulpy greens,
even though its April
and all his winter sweaters
have gone to the cleaners
and come back.

There's all this time, he thinks.

From where they sleep,
she can see that
there is some kind~
some poetic astonishment
of human understanding
in the line of his back
as he stands,
against the paned glass,
stilled in both body and thought.

Something beautiful,
dissident almost...
in the arc of his stance,
like movement under sheets,
his neck cocked to the left side,
his wrists banging at his thighs.

A wrist-banger, they said.

Through all this
the house fell behind itself,
like an aging athlete, or spring
that's been bullied back
into the ready ground.

Its good to be home, she thinks,
rolling over in the dreamy blue
of two-twenty's moon~
a strong man's silhouette
dragged across the foot of her bed.
And winter~ God, the hollow sound of the word~
hangs on with nothing but
an unquiet hue,
and taught grace.


"Your eyes opened~
finally. It felt
like reading the aged pages
of a thousand books;
fairy tales and politics alike"

I thought of you, then~
opening all the bottles
in your dad's liquor cabinet,
you could put
"any mother-fucking fire out."
And I believed you.

Even you didn1t know
you were alive,
until someone told you
you were, you screamed.

Your wild expression
expressed something
other than love or hate;
a morbid sense of duty, maybe;

A look so real
you could build it,
like something out of clay
or blocks.


Jillian Johnstone is a recently published poet whose work appears in the Big City Literary Review, Issue Feb 2003. She works as an Editorial Assistant for an Art Education publisher.


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