L.A. Johnson
L. A. Johnson is the author of the chapbook Little Climates (Bull City Press). She received her MFA from Columbia University and is currently pursuing her PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California, where she is a Provost’s Fellow.  She’s received scholarships and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her poems have recently
appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Narrative Magazine, The Southern Review, and other journals. 


TRANSMUTATION

Glass splits like a map. Say yes;

say the night is filled with torrents of red,

trouble, warm light; say thrill or chill.
 

In the Adobe Valley, early rabbitbrush

lines the freeway, we watch it burst into sight.

 
Out there, in the cold, wild horses

circle around each other to keep heat rising.
 

Hoof and fetlock, manes lengthening.

Unmastered, they will never know

the fidelity of a pasture, the lush emporium

 
of safety and grass to be found there.

 
Headfirst into the dark, I don’t want

to want. Fire breaks in my face,

my lips turn to glass. What freedom


in that animal hunger for true north,

sugar and need. No maps, no getting-lost.
 

In this bedroom, a watery dress is removed

from the salt-depths of promise.
 

Lapse of a whisper, needles of light.

Bring cold into the room,

make a season out of breaking.

 
from Little Climates, Bull City Press (2017)






 2018 L.A. Johnson
L.A. Johnson was a Featured Poet at the  January 2018 Second Sunday Poetry Series