I guess the joke always goes: your momma should’ve swallowed
and then you wouldn’t have a palmful of water to thank for my mouth.
The joke is that sincere love poems were left to the Brownings and fuck that
because my mouth is a place I hold a name and that is real love.
I guess I’ll laugh when my mouth isn’t so full of you, huh?
And you’ll laugh when you swallow the sandwich you make yourself.
Sometimes, I want to call up my exes and beam into the receiver,
say look how happy I am without you. Sometimes, I’m afraid of that call.
Sorry all your holiday newsletter has in it is a photo booth strip empty
and your scrawling note saying: got a BJ, been a solid year. Not sorry.
If God made the green Earth she’s got a sense of humor with you. Here,
I’ll be perfect Eve, and you be one less rib: now you can blow yourself.
Sally J. Johnson received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she served as Managing Editor for the award-winning literary journal Ecotone. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in the Collagist, Bodega, the Manifest-Station, Weave, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize in Nonfiction and winner of Madison Review‘s 2015 Phyllis Smart-Young Prize for Poetry. Find her (ranting, probably) online: @sallyjayjohnson