My beautiful girl, my ragged girl– your tattered sweater shot through with holes hangs off your body, limp
wave of defeat, of surrender in the autumn rain– I write your name.
My bundle of bones, my armful of twigs– your filthy hair a dark knot atop your head, your moon-pale
face cratered with sores your meth-crazed hands make you pick pick pick– I write your name.
I write your name on the days you haven’t eaten the days you haven’t slept
on your body barely there, curled in the womb of the quilt, waiting. I write your name.
Leah Johnson is a Washington, DC poet. A member of the Surrey Street Poets, her work has been published in Green Mountains Review Online, The Healing Muse, Oberon Poetry Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and Mothers Always Write. She is a 2017 Best of the Net nominee for her poem “The Goldfinch” in Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is a co-host of the WordWorks Café Muse Literary Salon. In previous incarnations, she has been a member of the Writing Studies faculty at American University, a piano teacher, and co-founder of Dumbarton Concerts in Georgetown.