art by sonjaye maurya
John Leonard is a professor of composition and assistant editor of Twyckenham Notes, a poetry journal based out of South Bend, Indiana. He holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University. His previous works have appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Tributaries, Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly and Burningword Literary Journal. He was the 2016 inaugural recipient of the Wolfson Poetry Award and 2018 recipient of the Josephine K. Piercy Memorial Award. He lives in Elkhart, Indiana with his wife, three cats, and two dogs.
You Met Me in Traffic
You met me in traffic,
laced and unbound,
slowly moving westward.
At first there was static,
and then the steering wheel
became a child’s drum set,
a pause and then a handprint.
I pointed at signs and you read them
all wrong; stating with certainty that
each and every symbol was another word
for the sound dusk makes when it blossoms
into an oceanic wave of headlights.
A moth flew into your window and you
imagined what would happen if it chewed
off your sleeves. What I did, was pull over
and brush the powder off your wings.