Johanna Lane

To the Man Who Was to Be My Gardening Companion for Fifty Years You used to love that I see the fierce beauty in a little chaos. I first cleared that web of woodiness cautiously. I pruned instead of hacked the curious entanglement of Greenbrier and Wisteria. The roots seemed to reach as deep as…

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KFC

‘Time to count it out,” said Tommy the gay black manager. I always liked Tommy, he was not stupid, he was good to us and not needy or demanding. The black girls started counting out the chicken pieces and talking shit as usual, I listened in because they were blunt and funny. Some of them…

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New Brunswick, By Way of Oakland City Center Bart

27 February 2013. She said: Gentlemen, excuse me, gentlemen. Gentlemen. You’re such nice looking gentlemen. Gentlemen. I don’t mean to bother. All I have to give you [rustle of a plastic bag] is this flashlight. Gentlemen. I’m a pastor. I’m Pastor Patricia Smith. This is a high crime area. I was just beat down the…

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How to Steal a Storm

In the beginning the air was cold and sweet like a backwards mausoleum. Cameron said this was the kind of sky you could drink, and then the wind picked up soft-armed and rolling. Listen: the rain rhythmic bent and streaming. The rain forming a film. I talked about half-truths and we couldn’t count how many…

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Soap Scum

My father bought rounds of shaving soap wrapped in crinkled pastel paper and stored them in the bathroom drawer. When I was small enough to perch on the counter, I’d watch him wet a caramel-colored brush, swirl the bristles around a mug of soap, and paint his face with the froth. I loved the squelch…

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To The Mountains

Driving up a curvy incline, all that mattered was the beautiful sunshine which illuminated my rough, grey booster seat. Out the window I saw endless hues of forest green and muted browns that looked like my aged dinner table. Everything in the woods; the trees and faint noises of birds emanated a deep ingrained feeling…

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