about the author

Vanessa Couto Johnson earned her MFA from Texas State University. She is listed as a Highly Commended Poet for the 2014 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hot Metal Bridge, Word Riot, Gravel, Vector, Toad Suck Review, and elsewhere. She has a BA in both English and philosophy from Rice University.


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Vanessa Couto Johnson



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Help me find the most scratchless frame. No wrestling matte today. I must have a Russell Edson poem behind glass. On the subject of myopia, dished as Petri.

We gain culture at the restaurant, Italian. Select menu. Adjust appetizers to disengage hunger. I choose a future of gluten-free pasta present.

At twelve you knew enough about computers. You did not fear Y2K. I did. I gathered coins like crumbs on an exercise mat and did one hundred sit-ups each Saturday.

As a child you touched objects an even number of times. The prime not sought, wearing sun divisor. Out of optic nerves, out of a mind.

Your skull is wider than mine. Your glasses refuse to hold my head, but I have more to shampoo. I, as adolescent, meditated that my vellus hair would fall. Moan of dark.

As a teenager on New Years, I let a Hershey’s Kiss melt. These years, I only know it’s midnight because of several sudden sounds.

We foil the evening with the odd, our leftover quips brighter than lasagna in the fridge. Cut through paused film of Bond. Refresh, lusted dirt of your olive for my glass-toothed cup.





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