I would not name Him,
could not cut the throbbing umbilical,
nor listen to him suckle, small calf,
then coo a reckoning, contusions
like clusters of stars.
LUKE JOHNSON lives on the California Coast with his wife and three kids. His poems can be found at Kenyon Review, Narrative, Florida Review, Thrush, Valparaiso Review, Nimrod, Tinderbox, Greensboro Review and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Award and his chapbook, :boys, was published by Blue Horse Press in 2019.
Author’s note: “Interrogating my work, I can see that my speakers often find a form of rest/shelter in the hope alive in another i.e. children and/or outside a physical structure, in the beauties and brutalities of the natural world. ‘Malakai’ is an unpublished short verse, documenting my son’s arrival, and the devastating force that his hunger became as he ‘sheltered’ to my wife’s body.”
Link to Table of Contents.