To love like him is to be a student / of regret

Because I don't have the juice or enough gold anything to enter, a room that occasionally exists inside of me is the poorly lit dance floor of Club 2718. Thirst is a way of knowing, not knowing. I was on a gin fueled hunt for big asses and music I could cry to. A woman almost twice my age asks where I've been and she shuts the door. Like any american what haunts me is my addiction to private property, not time or blackness. I want to love no one in particular the way I say I love my woman when she's in the doorway and mad at me. There were days I believed my grandfather owned my grandmother kept her overfed and out of the sun in the back room. Occasionally a room exists inside of me where Johnny Hartman & John Coltrane's "One and Only Love" plays on repeat. On repeat too is a video of my grandfather dancing a limber legged shuffle and singing across the wall to my grandmother. To love like him is to be a student of regret. In the abide I watch grief turn to ecstasy. I wept in the winter when I left my woman, I wept in the heat when she came back.

Taylor Johnson is from Washington, D.C. Their first book of poems Inheritance will be published in fall of 2020 with Alice James Books.