Poetry — April 15, 2014 11:13 — 0 Comments

Two Poems – Luke Johnson

Food City

Couples share handles
on shopping carts, test produce

together: each squeezing
unripe fruit, an unspoken joke

lingering in the way he handles
the lemons. When he takes

her hand as though they’re dancing
as he moves past the artisanal breads,

she catches me watching them.
A forgivable sin to covet

your neighbor’s love, to be
among vegetables holding

asparagus and listening.
I don’t know these two,

but do: know they have a list
and will split up. He’ll glimpse

her walking the other direction
down the same aisle and won’t

call out. He’ll let her find him,
as if they were strangers, as if she

had forever to look and wanted to.




The between
I frequent—this small

and sincere hope
the snow melts

before it needs
to be shoveled:

the long driveway
and other ways

to separate: bliss
in columns of light:

yesterday’s dusting
spurred by today

and its gusts. Trust
the snow to take care

of itself: it will.


Luke Johnson is the author of the poetry collection After the Ark (New York Quarterly Books, 2011). His writing has appeared in New England Review, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He recently moved from Seattle to Virginia, where he teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney