person Luke J. Johnson, one poem

Luke J. Johnson lives on the Coast of California with his wife and three kids. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Asheville Poetry Review, Connotation Press, Cultural Weekly, Greensboro Review, San Pedro River Review, the SLO Tribune, and others.

~~~

Boys
     – to Smitty, Slick Nic, Mortimers and Dave

In a barn
choked by rusty tools
and ragweed,

we stood
in a riotous circle

watching
fetal mice fill
their fresh lungs with air,

when Smitty,
behind a tribal smile,

pulled a blade
from his back pocket

and began
to slice one down the abdomen
with ball point precision–

each of us stone-silent
and cold,

as Smitty unsnapped
the sternum
              like a bloody brassier,

then moved toward the heart:
a fragile drum throbbing in
his fingers.

(Originally published in Asheville Poetry Review, 2016)

~~~