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Kat Johnson

Drink If

 

drink if you’ve fucked someone in the room

you counted the pennies in the wishing well, hoping it’d end up being a sign

you took the wrong exit on purpose because lately you’ve been knowing where you are far too often

you choke every time you see his name written in sharpie on the back of your hand

you stumble down the stairs, always try to keep up

you try to catch your breath when he calls to tell you his mom won’t come home

you never go home

you blame the stars, stare at the constellations just to believe there’s something bigger

something to steal your breath when you wonder where he is

the piano chords feel a little too much like that stairwell by the vending machines

where you cried because he wouldn’t come back

time is suffocating like a bag of sand tied to your throat

like a lipstick stained mug of release and promises

like the way you beg for thirty seconds of euphoria just to claim him as the same damn casualty

it’s something on the low, behind bars and shovels and caskets and all the times it could’ve been

it’s all the cracked mirrors and shards of glass, all of the bleeding out you had to do

just to remember life.

 


Kat Johnson is a junior English major on the creative writing track at SUNY Geneseo, also minoring in women’s & gender studies. She primarily writes poetry. She also loves writing and performing original music, which you can find on Spotify. When she isn’t writing, she loves singing with her all-gender a cappella group, Between the Lines.

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Kat Johnson

midas touch 

far beneath the patter of rain on empty glass

are the sounds of a million voices, some who resemble my father more than others, i tell them:

i could have loved you but you left me before i had the chance.

i sometimes think i still love you when you choke me out and never hold my hand.

i loved the way you felt on my body but i never wanted to say the word.

i loved you from so many thousands of miles away but it felt cursed.

sometimes in my sleep i visit with the faces

of ghosts who taught me to love:

in our old haunts, messages in familiar fonts

like hands intertwined hidden behind bleachers

or the warmth of an overpriced latte and clean white sneakers

or cliche stanzas in composition notebooks

with promises to never actually read the words,

just grade for completion &

sometimes i remember the way liberation looked

when it was in someone who never gave me the time of day;

someone who always seems to remain just a face and a name

we kept our secrets beneath our teeth,

each dance with the devil a different shade of greed

eyes gashed [by the daggers of our lost sleep]

and sometimes when i wake up tangled in my own sheets, can’t even

               breathe

i am reminded of the way his breath felt warm on my shoulder

the nights he forgot himself and lay next to me.

cheeks flushed a different color when i tried something new

like i broke through a lock or some sort of cocoon

(she turned the music off so her lips on my body were the only sound in the room.)

but it took countless drinks at a bar i’d never been to: we broke promises

to ourselves and forgot ours to one another / she threw up on my floor while i slept under the covers.


Kat Johnson is a junior English major on the creative writing track at SUNY Geneseo, also minoring in women’s & gender studies. She primarily writes poetry. She also loves writing and performing original music, which you can find on Spotify. When she isn’t writing, she loves singing with her all-gender a cappella group, Between the Lines.

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Kat Johnson

I have heard You calling in the night

the cheap rusting razor blades

& sucked in stomach

plump with ribs and scar tissue

begging for nourishment, for peace

the pink glittery knockoff

sneakers & the way the frogs

kept her awake

she blamed the noise

at least

the darkness of 4:34 a.m., oranges

& ten-pound eyelids

questions, caffeine

the bikini size on the scratchy plastic tag

not reading the right letter

the way she hated mirrors

the ripping phone charger & wired earbuds

the weight of the rain against cracked glass

an aching head pressed against the cold schoolbus

window, looking at the blur of cars and lives

speeding past hers, wondering what must it feel like

having somewhere to go

metal braces catching on warm cheeks

& the strange familiarity of the copper taste

of blood and the color on her wet fingertips

scratched knees against church pews

blurry eyes with tunnel vision on a crucifixion

of her own

 


Kat Johnson is a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo. She is majoring in English (creative writing) and minoring in women’s & gender studies. In addition to poetry, she also writes and performs original music.

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