Vanessa Couto Johnson     






We investigate a long lost song I hear at Chipotle.  On key, no kidney beans.  Our happy find among lengths of fajita veggies remixing. 

You do not do well with leftovers three weeks dead in the fridge.  No one would. 

I make grave decisions such as refusing key lime pie I brought for you.  You tell me the scariest part of a film is when someone slips an envelope under the door. 

I have not yet seen the family of raccoons.  You mention with joy.  Someones parked car always has a stuffed panda in it. 

I have recurring dreams of literally being a backseat driver.  Endangerous.  Duck.

Your prescription sunglasses have gone missing.  If someone stole them, that someone has a new look.

Karma is a unique reptile.  Our hands hold a diet of gentle crickets, waiting.



The way the binary system on a face changes, ring of iris smaller until hoop.  Step right up.  Leap right up.  Greatest show you what I mean.  On earth as it is in breadless.

Thyroid eyes have seen the glory.  There have been times I have felt disappointed you did not read a book I left.  Id be crazy for reading about your paradigms.

Wanted alive.  Warranted pacifically, silently, suckle.  Nutrient density destiny.

Buy the large milkshake and leave it.  There are better unbagged liquids.

Not drive-thru but drive up.  Reverse with vivid lights, the shrink of the pupil, the left at the corner.  Store my hands.

Overheard compartment.  Defrost eavesdrop.  Unfortunately, that outside light is replaced by your window. 

For the rest of my life I will wake up at nine a.m.  At the latest.  I hear your water running, until face smoothed. 

Erosion as it shall be, now and for.  Every nimble nebula, galaxies sharpened.  By humming.


Vanessa Couto Johnson’s forthcoming chapbook Life of Francis was the winner of Gambling the Aisle's 2014 Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BlackbirddecomPThe DestroyerWord Riot, and elsewhere. She is listed as a Highly Commended Poet for the 2014 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. She currently teaches at Texas State University, where she earned her MFA.