Devil’s Lake

Spring 2015 Issue

Winner of the 2015 Driftless Prize in Poetry Learn more >

LA Johnson Sclerotic

Just past the winter-quiescent fields, the house
stood, lead paint peeling. The door was opened

a crack, to let stale air in. We'd always assumed,
but we couldn't see much through the windows.

Instead we saw her hands, forked like claws,
and her molded blankets shivered-white on the lawn.

Judgement in whispers kept us comfortable.
The neon sign for the Big 6 Market blinks on and off.

On good weekends, we danced a while,
kept our thin arms spaced at a proper distance.

What could I have known then of devotion,
lives not run out but ruinous, and all at once.

LA JOHNSON's poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Antioch Review, The Southern Review, Indiana Review, Meridian, Phoebe, Nimrod, and other journals. She completed her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and will be a Provost Fellow in USC's PhD program in literature and creative writing beginning in fall 2015. She currently lives in San Francisco. More from this issue >