Fulminate

By Kimberly Johnson

I saw you coming from a mile away,
Thunder. You play
Coy, sly your pretty in winks


Around the cumulus, but up close what colors
You show, all shazam
And tantrum while the Wham-bam


On the wireless crackles with static. What the swagger
Are you after?
Whose the heart you do not stagger


When you rattle through the bracken, knocking
Branches at the casement?
I betook me to the basement

When you batted first your lashes, flashed
Your distant
Dazzle—I’ve been whiplashed


By your type before: you come on easy
But want me on my knees,
Want to flutter my transformers


And shut off all my lights. You throw a glam show
And then you blow
Along to the next hapless,

Leaving blank fuzz across the radio dial—
No tune, no storm Warning, no Thank you ma’am.

Kimberly Johnson’s most recent collection is Uncommon Prayer. She has work recent and forthcoming in The New Yorker and Best American Poetry 2020. Johnson is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, among others. She lives and teaches in Utah.

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