Lines Composed Just East of Bushwick Avenuehttps://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/0830-1920x1440.jpg?fit=1920%2C1440&ssl=119201440Jessalyn JohnsonJessalyn Johnsonhttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/jessalynjohnson.jpg
South of the street signs, new buildings are being propped upright by paper dolls in hardhats and wool coats. Consider wondering about the sky, the naked trees, the pigeons with infected eyes, the wind blowing music through the cracks in the window. Read about the great city, the stunners that ride their bikes across town just to step into a store that sells wine and buy two bottles of Grenache, only as sweet as the company. The token funny kid cracks a joke, of course everyone laughs, creases digging deep into the cheeks of locals. Inclusion syndrome, a puff of smoke, dodging cyclists, creating art. Follow strangers when they give direction like a conductor, wave to the children, treat them to ice cream cones and the concept of God’s forgiveness before sending them off to bed. The town kazooist, still lively as ever plays a short tune, of course everyone hums along, lips buzzing like half-witted hornets. Think about learning a new trade or skill, something transferrable, something with an installment plan or return policy, money back guarantee. Vacuous smiles and television sounds, bitters and orange peels, street music and construction signs, one foot in front of the other.
Jessalyn Johnson is a writer from Central Florida currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She recently graduated with a degree in English Literature and currently attends The New School’s MFA Creative Writing Program. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Maudlin House, Nightingale & Sparrow, and Soft Cartel, among others. Follow her on Twitter @jessalyn451 and Instagram @jessalynjohnson or visit her at jessalynjohnson.com.