c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art


EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's


Michelle Johnson

Photobooth by Myles Boisen
Photobooth by Myles Boisen



DATING SERVICES: 20 ME: 0

by Michelle Johnson

Steve said he was six feet—
Iím five-eleven—
He barely came to my chin.
Kevin said, I'm tall and tan.
A tall black man sat down.
Then there was Ted, who, on our first date,
bragged that while providing oral lovin'
he caused his date's foot to crash
through his glass coffee table,
And it was thick glass, too.

Hans was very open to sex
because he molested his little sisteró
He was sixteen; she was twelve.
It was only a couple of times.
He was getting help, of course.

Matt said after a decaffeinated espresso,
You're a little too high strung. Busy.
Have you considered Bikram and Soy?
Itís very centering.


Over margaritas another confessed
He was still sorta married, but not really.
It was complicated,
Another wasnít married—
he just wanted a good time.
Like how about now?

Wendell said he thought
about getting a dog instead
of a girlfriend. Dogs are easier.
David liked to kiss
hard and deep-throat like
and suggest weight-loss tips.

Another enthusiastically proposed
reading up on giving
blowjobs. Good advice
he thought, since many in his past
missed important parts. Tom thought
it was appropriate to tell me
I was very entertaining,
just not very pretty.
B. Love studied reproduction
in honeybees, but felt too much pressure
to balance bees and me.

There was a surgeon, a butcher, a contractor, a metal band bassist, a computer engineer and an embezzler.

The embezzler kept a notebook
with sketches of Lionel train setups
he'd like to have some day.
He let me look at the book
while he went to the bathroom.

There was Karl from Ireland.
Partied with Bono. We ate jicama on his backporch,
drank hot tea, and sipped syrah
late into the evening.
We kissed and promised another day.
An email waiting said—
Dating and relationships
take too much work,
donít they? Take care.


The last one fathered six children—
with six different women—
He was only married once.
He flashed two gold teeth,
as he stiffed our server.

My new-aged friends say
happiness and love
are already within us.
I just need to be open.
Send out the positives and love
will find me. And my mom,
she tells me,
Go to church.




MS. BULIMIA

by Michelle Johnson

I am hungry
for a man.
I want all of him in me—
not just his blue-veined,
pulsing cock.

I start
with the chewy layer
of skin. I peel
it off like the chocolate
icing of a Hostess
cupcake.

My goal: lift without tearing
or ripping— one entire sheet
of man. I twisttwirl transparent tissue
between finger and thumb
and eat it like a sticky fruit rollup.

Next, I cut off bite-sized squares
of plump cheeks,
succulent slices of shank and ass.
First, my bites are measured—
rectangular sections of muscle,
dripping with fat. But,
soon, I become sloppy— ravenous.

It feels like I haven't eaten
in days. I barely pause to chew
the organ sweetmeats.
By the time I swallow
his heart, I know he's mine.

After he's all gone,
thereís nothing left
but his neat pile of clothes.
I donít stop there:
Oxford, Dockers, boxers, shoes
find their way to my mouth.
I chew their dryness
to a moist fabric-smack.

It's not about feeling satisfied.
It's sheer consumption. Quantity.
So I turn and search
for more men to gobble.

Shame sets in
when there's no one left.
I'm sick. Full of men.

At first, they don't come
up so easily: bit of ear,
button, strand of flesh.

But with time, and push of rib bone,
I am able to purge them all.
One by one,
they splash
until the bowl is full.









Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson


Michelle Johnson is a graduate of Sacramento State (1999), a transplant from Omaha, Nebraska, and an English Instructor at Sierra College. She is the proud mom of two— Chelsea going to Cal Berkeley and Gabriel going to fourth grade. She has been writing off and on most of her life, and lists her biggest influences as Catherine Fraga, Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio.




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