What I like most about Sara Eliza Johnson's work in Bone Map is its sense of constant travel. I never feel like she is stopping to explain her images or ideas, she's just showing you this beautiful short film she made. And you can watch it as many times as you'd like (the book is in your hands, after all) but she's only going to tell you about it once, and she's not going to answer any of your questions.
What I Remember As Panicked
Sitting in the fort your parents built for your
younger dying brother You pluck
a caterpillar from the tree Squish
it between your fingers and rub
the smear of its was down my face
A moth probably
unrelated flies to a tree
we can't reach
It flies what i remember as
panicked But is just
the way moths fly
Your dog will eat
it or its progeny
He being a conoisseuir of injured
bugs and children
He will feast on your brother's arm
That he does not kill him is a fit of magic
Your father the unwilling
volunteer from the audience
will make your dog disappear
from our neighborhood
to the house of an aunt you will never meet
From Cassandra: here's the poem i wrote in response to sara eliza johnson's bone map, a book i really loved and NOT just because it had many deer in it.
in the dream
Cassandra de Alba
the horses run without their hides,
tail and mane fused to muscle,
eyes rolling and strange
in red tapered heads.
dust from their hooves glimmers
in the ghost of sunlight
and doesn’t settle, only multiplies,
a cloud of choking gold shimmer
out of which Columbia strides,
her white dress immaculate,
eyes fixed ahead
like a declaration of war.
under her feet, the skinless horses
like an undammed river
and under theirs,
the country’s splintering bones.
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.