Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Poetry by Brandyn Johnson


“Fill the earth and subdue it,” Genesis 1:28

Grocery bags tumbleweed through a valley, greened
by beer bottle stalagmites among aged paper terraces,
eroded by the grey exhale, whistled from steady traffic.
Styrofoam patches cluster the overpasses, leaving tiny

meltless snows and coffeebreath pebble bits scattered
with tire stitches soldered to pavement cracks as scars.
The sun, ornamented by its metropolitan rind sparkles
mechanically, bronzing a condom – buoying the brook
of ditchwater and oil ribbons – and tarnishing the red
french fry box, folding on itself below the “welcome,”

                                                                 And it is so.

- Brandyn Johnson 2012


“And dude, she was like, 18 and 90 pounds,
felt like I was gonna break her in two,
needed a tub full of ice this morning though,”
he said,
after tossing me a beer by the pool.
His tanned lawyer laughed behind
sunglasses and a bronze gut,
“made her earn that money.”

I have nothing to add

so I nod, and sip my beer and nod,
not thinking about my newlywed upstairs napping,
not thinking about my sisters,
not thinking about someone’s daughter,
offering good times in broken English
to men who travel with their lawyers,
not thinking about the packs of men who
toss jokes like cans of lo-calorie beers

and pay to fuck what is closest to children.

I finish my beer and thank them
on my way to the air-conditioned room,
bumping into a 90-pound housekeeper,
her turquoise shirt shadowed with sweat,
clutching the wrinkled bills she found

on the countertop.

- Brandyn Johnson 2012

Brandyn Johnson, is an American currently living and teaching in China.

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