by Kasey Johnson

Not to be belligerent or strange;
in fact, to be the opposite,
you cut off all of your hair.
A Samson in the 80s,
some Delilah who swallowed you
and spit you out is wandering
toward me and I like her.
She looks like the kind
who’ll stay around
even when you don’t want her.
Now your hair is silvered
with gray like a mirror is
from a distance.

One day it’s a letter
reminding me you have
a soul, burrowing inside
like a mole whose tunnels
lead to a central cavern
where all the food is stored.
Who is meant
for the habits of moles:
loose fur, close dirt, final dark.
There is always more light
to force into the earth,
always more dirt
pushing back.

One day it’s our childhoods
switching paths on the way
to forgotten places.
You call for your brothers
but most of them are gone.
I call my sister
to say I am sorry
when I am not.
It is the fugitive in both of us
singing our names,
a wanted woman, wanton
and bellowing about what it is
inside us we tried to sunder.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I write because something inside tells me I must, something that is often impractical and unwieldy; however, writing provides its own elixir and I always feel more alive for the effort of putting words and phrases together.

IMAGE: “Mole” as featured in natural history book from 1926. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kasey Johnson received a BA in English from Reed College and an MA in English Literature from the University of New Mexico. She is currently a writing instructor in Corvallis, Oregon, where she also serves as an editorial assistant and book review editor for CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. Her work is forthcoming in Verdad