Roxane Beth Johnson


Let me sigh the dingy sighs of the lonesome.
Let the dull machinery of my mind
churn endless, deliberate thoughts
and turn its stiff, dry chains slowly.
Let me not know what to do,
let me be without a goal, a good lover, a life.
In the silent bar rooms of my memory,
let my lost lovers' words bring a thirst like the desert,
let all deception be ornate as mathematics,
wholly indecipherable as times' thick, pale passage,
migrate like a tumbleweed toward an unknown end.
Let me fall mightily and be crushed like gravel
under the suffocating noise of the blues
my rusty heart leaks out each long night.
Let it go on this way for ages, hours, years.
Then, one day the tireless off-key tune
is cut, the corroded point sharpened,
spun like a new nickel. Now let the blood,
slick and swift, run through my veins,
let the glossy coils of the future hold me up
like a river under a leaf.

Location: San Francisco, California
Publications: The Throwback, Samsara Quarterly, ZYZZYVA
Other: MFA candidate in Poetry at San Francisco State

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