Even though she is a biological
woman who wants to be a drag
queen. Even though I read her diary
and she confessed
…………..Sometimes all you can do is laugh
at someone’s ugly baby. And
……………I held my warm heart in my hands,
surprised how easily I could function
without it. And of course
……………I dated the Rust Belt.
It said I was a whore.
Different parts of me were lighting up
like a pin ball machine when she said
…………..Jesus was not an Abercrombie
and Fitch model.
She once told me
…………..I would never judge you
for having an orgy, I would just
write about it. I watched
her body awkwardly flop
around in the style of Pee-wee
Herman as I tuned out the rest
of what she had to say.
After Frank O’Hara, Roger Reeves, Ocean Vuong, Kyle McCord
Mike Pence Watches Me Eat a Milkshake
The air conditioner buzzes, but
it’s hot in the diner. A waitress
says he is here most days. He always orders
water and toast. He comes alone
and requests a booth that overlooks the tables
and the counter. I sit at the counter. His stare
confirms he is estimating my bra size.
He watches me alternate between
using a straw and a spoon. He starts mouthing
something at me. He seems to be mouthing
mother, mother, mother. I hope I’m mistaken.
In an untitled email to myself, I write
Never come back.
Meg Johnson is the author of the books Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) and The Crimes of Clara Turlington (Vine Leaves Press, 2015). Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in BUST, Hobart, Ms. Magazine, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse Daily, and others. Visit her at: www.megjohnson.org