Torii Johnson: This Is a Private Moment
Amy Humphries

Amy Humphries


the woods could creep inside at any moment
those faux wood-paneled houses walls like floors
like furnishings like forest like welcoming them,
more moss than human habitat. what style are the
columns holding up the world’s roof—collusium-
esque, greco-roman? limestone? decaying wood
with cheap behr paint coming off in huge flecks?
similar to the ones on my childhood porch, waiting
for me in the back of my mind or 24 hours away,
whichever is closest?

construct rituals from nothing much—red for full
blown, turquoise for a day inclined to anxiety
where I can feel it get out of bed with me

this is the most believable world I’ve made for myself

this is a private moment

get in here                  ruin me

                                         no one promised a nice cry



it’s been scientifically proven that wolves howl out of loneliness

I’m not quiet in bed. I howl like the touching
is the only tether left and if I was quiet
I might lose if I quiet I have lost
silence as acquiescence rather than
the practice of surprise, have had enough
silence in the bed for a lifetime. even after
I got you out, your absence
hung red & hungry

I learned a thing or two about
stalking, quiet thing it can be
it took a while (old dog, new trick)
but we wore the same shoe size
I knew how to trace the tracks
bloodhound that a broken girl is
make you stop coming back

still, stumble into worry I left the only
wild that could ever see me clearly
worry that I am to others
as you were unto me—starved animal
pity fed, but taken in for a time
who never seems to lose its
tender, distrustful bite

Torii Johnson is an English and Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies double major at Wesleyan University. Self-described anxious writer, intersectional feminist, annoyed bisexual, femme witch, caffeine enthusiast. She runs her personal blog, has contributed to Helloflo and Vagabond City Lit. If you’re interested in her tweets, which you should be, her handle’s @toriisavannah.