To create a battlefield,
draw a line.

then send renewable boys in
to stitch it down.

Band, tourniquet:
which half is supposed to die?

Blood falling in, the earth
only more dark.

Then green, green –
as belt, ribbon, scar,

strictly held spine
aching down the center.

Big men
refuse the lesson:

you lose control of everything
that leaves your hand.

Elaine Johanson

Elaine has an MFA in poetry from Columbia University and now lives in Philadelphia. She recently published 'AND AND,' a chapbook of poems and photographs with photographer Jan C. Almquist, focusing on her family's experiences during the Korean War and after. Her poems were recently published in Sugar House Review, jubilat, and The Hopkins Review, and are forthcoming in Salmagundi. She is also an active ceramicist and can be found—most days—with her hands in clay.

Share This