Kasey Johnson received a BA in English from Reed College and an MA in English Literature from the University of New Mexico. She works for a healthcare non-profit in Seattle, Washington, and is an editorial assistant and book review editor for CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature
by Women. Her work has been published by Silver Birch Press and is forthcoming in Corium Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, and Verdad.
Caseworker: One thing surprised me: her mother said she lied.
Two children I had, just
two were mine, until I lost
them, lost the house, a dining
room table, six chairs, a career
typing numbers and an office
with a window, until I am here,
walking to the library on some days,
my foot trailing beside me, the
young woman coming to help me;
we are a mystery each to each,
but in this chair one thing I cannot
deny: those two cherub-like faces
and loss like a space carved out,
something wide and deep taken
from within. I will tell you about them
when you sit down on the couch opposite,
so sit down and hear this:
their eyes were dark, their hair
curled and frothing about their temples.
Such little detail is required of love.
Do you know where they are now? No.
Will I miss them always? Yes.
The one thing you can never believe
in this home for those who cannot help
themselves from one day to the next
is that I made it all up, that it is a lie,
an apparition, the mind loosed on psycho-
tropics and its own wild hunger; no, my
truth comes in the shape of two bodies
I dream growing side by side.