By Iris Johnson

When we met I was buried in your snow.
It blocked the doors, required me
to build inward.
And though I grew exposed to much-
Fire trucks, fried eggs, pink paint-
I loved you for the clouds you conjured.

The surprise when I learned
You have not, as I hoped, been living
In Paris or Berkley.
No furs juuust beginning to shed.
No plump naked babies prying pearls from your dress.

You were supposed to have wrinkles and backaches.
Your hair should have matched your white walls.

So if you’ll forgive me, I hope you won’t mind:
I prefer you my way.
You’re welcome to stay
take up residence here
blush when your daughter declares
the moth (pale and teensy)
discovered by her
will be called Sabinaelis, in honor of you.

Iris Johnston is from Scranton, Pa., and is tired of being asked if she’s a “cunning Linguist.”