Hope in Halos by Airea Johnson The universe isn’t out to get me, I’m living by superstition & signs. If I planted myself in the street traffic wouldn’t stop. My brain is all Sorry, Snakes & Ladders— Everything is a game or something simulated; I keep doing the same things, but I don’t have the answers. How am I supposed to be anything other than a murder of crows & chalklines? I thought if I plucked my heart it would be a pitless cherry or a Red Hot stuck on some dude’s finger. Now I know it’s Bazooka: pink & sweet, nobody’s favorite. The mirror is always a bloodshot moon. The pillows memorized my face, & I counted how many times he lied without blinking. Infatuation is a currency; my heart is an empty well someone tosses coins into & no matter how many wishes skim the bottom, I’ll never know which way is up. I want to teach my heart how to count cards how to be so sure I’m the one rigging my odds, not tracing lotto tickets or smoking Camels in a parking lot finding hope in halos.
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Airea Johnson is enchanted with the grief process, the idea of significance, and the freewill dilemma. Her writing career started in Saint Augustine, FL. There, she hosted open mics for the Flagler College English Department and was an editor for FLARE: The Flagler Review. She works as an editor for Cathexis Northwest Press. After spending two decades in the south, she resides in Portland, OR with her red tabby Henry. Her poems appear in Third Wednesday Magazine, Oyster River Pages, Lucky Jefferson, and others.