Eva Johnson

resorts & other places with no names

 our house:
every day a thursday
fish cut in slants and covered in thyme
potatoes heaped high with nutmeg
our blue threads form constellations

lipstick blotted over her lips in no particular order
smudges of rose-colored pigment against dark drops of wine
her hair is wet and smells like the shower
inexpensive drugstore shampoo and the iron of rainwater which gathers in the drain

stacks bones from fish against the side of his plate
an invitation for mother to serve him
the after-dinner nuts
pistachios in an austere silver dish

 our house:
used to be owned by a wealthy lady
who dressed up every day
and never went out
the wallpaper was ’70s style
baroque flowers
behind too much orange plywood furniture.
father took down wallpaper—
said it made him claustrophobic
too much heaviness, loneliness in those walls
      “not for my home”
gave furniture to Goodwill
where a nineteen year old mother with
a newborn son
who lived twenty short blocks from us
bought the whole set for six dollars
was able to furnish her one room apartment before Christmas

there are railroad tracks
and I like to go walking on them
see the things people left behind—
red glove spanish coin raincoat
a card with a saint on it
wonder who they belong to
raincoat has a hole in it
      milkweed growing through the jagged edges
      in summer cicadas will nibble at the mildew
      that spills across it like green watercolor
once I found a fishing rod with line still on it
who would fish down here
there is only the Hudson
and you couldn’t cook that fish to eat.