Kat Johnson

six of cups reversed

when i was a little girl i used to take baths every day. draw on the walls with bathtub-safe crayons,

etching my thoughts and feelings into something that could be scrubbed away by my mom’s dry, cracked hands. sometimes, my mom drops me off at my dad’s. comes into the kitchen and notices

the walls are painted a different color than they used to be. behind the bathroom door, i can hear her
crying. i used to turn the faucet all the way to hot. press my palms into the water, splash my face with the cold of the sink after i got out. wrap myself in a towel, shivering skin touching the icy tile floor.
crawl into satin pants and slippers and wait by the door.

sometimes, when i was a little girl

when little a girl

sometimes i was a girl

                                                   sometimes        when i was little

i would creep quietly to my

parents’ bedroom door and

              work up the courage to knock.
nothing was wrong


my hear

tbeat p



gh my


a train

through silent suburbia in the middle

of the night. what’s wrong,

honey? my mom would ask, her love only

can censor so much of the sound of

my father’s hesitancy and she’s fine send her back                            to sleep.


Kat Johnson is a senior creative writing major and women’s & gender studies minor at SUNY Geneseo finishing their degree this semester. They are in the process of completing their debut chapbook, how to handle things with care when they are not breakable, under the advisement of Professor Lytton Smith.