The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Betsy Johnson-Miller

Chapter 1: The angel that crawls out from under the covers says


it’s time to clean your bones. I don’t care that you don’t like
the scraping sound. Or that it makes you cold. Hate, love, hope
that comes to nothing. Panic quiet, panic constant sudden choking.
All of it collects. Like plaque. An apple soon rotten. And god
will not catch someone like you. In her blue apron.



Betsy Johnson-Miller

Chapter 2: what’s the point


sink in black
water under a big
button moon

wish on the bubbles
fish throw
into the sky

if you surface
you’ll be hooked



Betsy Johnson-Miller

Chapter 3: Do not fight


when he decides you are meant for a dandelion crown.

Supple bend (think wind amid the grain).

Hum not from your red throat but from green wings.

In reach of the sweet place, labor to remain.




BETSY JOHNSON-MILLER's work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, AGNI (online), North American Review, and Poet Lore.



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