all growed up

if it’s a game you want
then it’s a game you’ll get

let’s play pretend:

let’s pretend that you love me
that seconds are the carriers of our affection
and each other is all we have worth holding on to

let’s make believe that the sun rotates around us solely
and we generate our own gravity
that hugs create multi-dimensional solar systems
and eclipses are the only publicly visible sightings of our kisses
that us being nude does not necessarily contribute to our being naked
and vulnerability invades only our dreams

let’s imagine that we are friends
and you pick and name stars after me
and i?
i’ll act as if i know where each one is
should you ever ask

let’s count snowflakes
and mini marshmallows in our hot chocolate
sing happy birthdays and christmas carols
watch television over cold pizza and flat sodas
till slumber discovers us

let’s conjure oceans of strawberry scented bubble baths
novels of cartoon strips
and champagne of orange kool-aid

let’s envision that telephone call conversations
are just us two holding hands over whatever distance
is between us
that we tuck each other in every night
and kiss each other every morn

or better yet…
let’s first pretend you
know my name

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

virgin, 042701

he is a virgin to the truth

he handpicks fabrications
from an unmarked garden

places them in a basket
set them at my feet

encourages a feeding

but i am not hungry
for this food
so selfishly provided

the truth could not possibly grow here


there is no honour in his lies

only masked configurations of the truth

if you can call it that


he speaks in tongues
only decipherable
through translation

but even still

i do not understand
these lies

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

love making

we lay there for hours
contemplating what to do with ourselves
excited fingers skate
over awaiting flesh
and we just…


in wonderment…

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.


he sees passed me
into something that is beyond
maybe some purple tree
bearing fruits sweeter than any kiss

how jealous i am
to not be the center
of his attention

or better still
his center

he speaks:
i find it hard
to breathe in this silence

i find it hard
to love you
when it’s painstakingly obvious
that you make it hard
to love you

what greater mistake
could have been made
with silence

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

room temperature

i store the love we’ve made at room temperature
in wax-sealed mason jars
placed on high shelves away from direct sunlight

i am careful to avoid puncturing the seal or dropping the jars
because the expiration date is still pending
and i’ve always been clumsy like that

i take as much care with these jars
as i do with my heart
giving as much attention to the last
as i do to the next
and i wash my hands before and after
so as not the contaminate this magically delicious sweetness
we have made

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

mother, 01.26.02

mother’s not coming home, he said

but what do you mean
mother’s not coming home?

doesn’t she realize
that i’ve still got a lot of growing up to do
and she’s still got a lot of showing up to do?

but who will now raise the baby?

grandma’s too old
too lazy

it takes a village,
i’ve been told…

but what to do when my village
ain’t even a community
supporting drug warfare
instead of unity
lacking self-esteem
and the american dream
doesn’t come to my neighborhood
after dark

so father isolated me from the village
to make that adolescent pilgrimage
and over you
because you need no anchors to this life

father fattened my belly
with homemades
not store-boughts
and cannots
used to say that
’life is what you make it’

so i decided to make a brand new day
to maybe take the pain of you away

in the same second you realized
love don’t live here no more
you packed your bags
and met the door
on the other side

and i pray the tears i’ve cried
will drown you in your sorrow

no, not today
but maybe tomorrow
when the sun meets and greets me
recharges my inner-most battery
because this shit keeps
and going
and going

without the slightest
inkling of knowing
that last night whilst i slumber
those same monsters
that usually reside under my bed
have now made their way into my head

plaguing even my daylight hours
and my emotional powers
are rapidly depleting

my memory banks are on “e”
cannot be filled for miles
and miles

22 to be exact
but i’m on my way to 23
but you’ll take no part in this splendor that’s me
so don’t look for a shout on the back of my cd

you have caused me to
crash into relationships
where smiling men and women
concealing gleaming objects behind their backs
wait for the opportunity
to lodge it in mine

because of you
i do not trust
like i should
love like i could
and pretend like i would
have been pretending

it does take time to reach
betrayal’s ending
but i am convinced
he will eventually
come for me…

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.

legacy, 05.11.01

my purpose
is to find it

the odds seem so discouraging though
1 billion to 1
1 trillion to 1
1 gazillion to 1

should i fumble
through ½ eaten cereal boxes
dumping out what i cannot use?

so much as been wasted already

maybe i can take the long way home after work?
ask the local youths if they’ve seen my purpose?
paste lost signs to telephone poles?
put out an apb?
maybe then my purpose would try to find me

maybe the opposite

maybe my purpose would
thing me desperate
go into hiding
change his number
his address
better yet
find another damsel
to disperse my future to

giving her a meaning
she isn’t quite ready for

i should have known
to not trust you

© 1979 Daria Johnson. All Rights Reserved.