late light night
In the room of salt air, need opens
like a sail to carry me
across windless seawater, cold sheets
coil into waves. I bathe
and cool there, slide the surf around my teeth
until they are oiled and waxy as oysters.
A pillow rips behind my head,
feathers fall into the sea. Though
there are walls, they look like sunsets
through a kaleidoscope: orange spectrum
sways, then softens. In a hush,
a door appears, then trembles,
glass rolls in a slow current
before vanishing into reflection. The mirror
reveals the unseen: floating so low,
sheer clouds touch the peaks of waves,
invisible sky above
now visible in the watery-bend,
while my mind, thin as wire, shivers still.
A desire drifts across the dream
stilled landscape and I listen to its echo
until a stranger answers back.
L. A. Johnson is from California. She is the author of the chapbook Little Climates (Bull City Press, 2017). She is currently pursuing her PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California, where she is a Provost’s Fellow. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and other journals. Find her online at http://www.la-johnson.com.