Poetry from Michele Johnston

To One Looking out of a Bay Window

The flower of the sunset caresses your cheek with its orange-rose hand,

the velvet of its fine nap kissing the same on your skin;

to utter that I wish to follow is too much, too much;

and so with a lover’s heart crouched behind the eyes of a friend,

I’ll gaze without jealousy

as you reach for the warmth of her slender fingers beneath the steadily falling curtain of autumnal dusk.



I am a silly courtesan. I am a flower dried of her perfumed strength, a dog sitting patiently at the door in the rain,

sighing without imposition. I will become unseen; I will wait on a chain of my own choosing; on the floor speckled in

stunning shattered glass, a parched paint-stroke blooming to be overlooked. A rose in your lapel—is this the beauty

that trains the cogs of your ambition? Dried petals beneath your feet, and no sweetness scattered through pellucid

shards; don’t pause when I snatch up sunbeams in my hands—leave, brush your palms clean, tread past the door and

keep walking—it is merely a trick of the moon.