Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

Science for vermin

Counting the crows,
     I see seven—no, ten—
          chaos arithmetic!

Geometry for squirrels:
from fence-top to eave
is a perfect arc.

A complex curve:
the sparrows whirl
across the street
and under the car
and into a tree.

Black Holes for Flies

The event horizon:
a spider waits
in a funnel-shaped web.

Moon and Mars poems

the moon is flat and shiny as a dime
     fallen on the velvet skirt the sky wore

Almost a moon—
     so plain without the leaves.

In solitude,
the night’s sound
is so important

The rising moon—
what fires burn it orange?
How near, how far?

watching Mars—
ice on an angry star

Under the trees
scraps of blue light:
filtered moon.

The moon through the trees—
a patch of ragged light
cupped in my palm.

Reading poems by
the full moon’s light
blurred by clouds

The fallen oak leaves
     look like bloody flesh—
          too long in comics!

Ripped hangnail bleeds—
     I tear myself in shreds.

The weeds in the forgotten garden
are tall enough to bloom—
he stops to look.

The red moon burns but the wine is cool;
no one to share, so I watch alone.

This hunger—
the wine does not help
in the mocking moon.

These rough robes,
a cicada’s shell against
unsettling night.

Sweet as his skin,
wine on my tongue;
I remember.

Though we have not shared it
this bed smells of him—
such restless sleep.

I loved your writing
     until you came to bed late.

The empty house—
the creaking stair is poor company
but all there is

Mad at the sun,
which shines here
but not there.

To kiss you was like finding last year’s leaves
     folded in a book

I fret and I fret—
     it’s hard to find an empty cup
from which to drink no tea.

Bitter and dark,
the taste of
no tea.

Tea tastes
of sunlight and grass.

© 2004 Kij Johnson