twelve cranes aflight above columbus, georgia—duskthose birds buzz sorrow into the teeth we have left. one afterthe next, flattened by the now of their going, opal brag from beak to toe.neglect under belly, they triangulate despite braiding currents,making distance known. each wingfeather insists: farther, farther. below them: dugouts and corner stores and clogged gutters.a sad mother, fastened to the tv. a father who’d been thought(unsaid) to be dying. what was once a daughter, gone on a run. sweat forsaking the bugless winter. sweepstakes, largely lost. the sky surrounding the birds chastens to pink, deflecting, what could I do? what could I deign to be besides away, here and always
mase johnson is a queer and trans black poet pisces from the south. They are a Cave Canem Fellow, a Pink Door Fellow, and a Retreat Fellow at The Watering Hole. Their work has been published in Muzzle Magazine, The Shade Poetry Journal, the Nepantla Anthology, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and them magazine, among others, and has been nominated for the Puschart Prize. They grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and are currently based out of Portland, Oregon.