Two Poems By Anissa Lynne Johnson

TARGET HAD SELECT FUNKO POPS 50% OFF, SO I TRIED TO BUY RICK O’CONNELL FROM THE MUMMY, BUT I LEFT IT IN MY CART TOO LONG, AND IT SOLD OUT, SO I BOUGHT SHAQ INSTEAD 

All I’m trying to say is Shaq is tall, mega tall, like taller than my dad, and he’s taller than me by over a foot. My dad used to hit his head on the doorframe every night after tucking me into bed, driving the knobby thing on his ball cap into his scalp. One time there was blood, no joke. He’s tall, but not as tall as Shaq, who’s like 7’1”. But you wouldn’t know that looking at his Funko perched on my bookshelf. Lined up with the other leading men of the four books I’m writing simultaneously (not pictured—Rick O’Connell RIP). Tom Hanks is 6-foot-nothin’ and Steve Irwin was only 5’11”, yet the Shaq Funko is shorter than both of them by like 2-inches. His width is smaller, his head, his hands. Shaq’s not a mini or anything, so I don’t get what the deal is. I feel like there’s a metaphor here, lying around somewhere. And it pisses me off, you know? That Shaq’s wearing a Magic jersey when his legacy should be the Lakers.



THE GOLDFISH IN YOU’VE GOT MAIL REFLECTS ON ITS BIG BREAK

You know, I didn’t even have to audition? One minute, 

I’m in the pet store going all blub blub, and the next I’m

in a plastic bag. Passed between hands. Some of which, 

you’ve heard of. Surely you have. But I’m not one to name drop 

Steve Zahn. Calling out into the enchanting hustle and bustle of books

in The Shop Around the Corner, Who belongs to this fish? And the answer is

you all do, baby. Just look at how the camera captures the glint of light

reflecting from my gills as I swim across the shot. Hear the urgency

in Tom Hanks’ voice as he finds his way back to me. How he holds me

in his strong, gentle grasp. How he breaks character in relief 

when the door closes on my scene, and a cherry red balloon misses its cue 

to exit. Good thing it wasn’t the fish. Wasn’t the prodigy. 

Flushed from the silver screen far before my time.


Anissa Lynne Johnson is a disabled writer from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She has work forthcoming in Sledgehammer Lit, Press Pause, Wig-Wag, and elsewhere. More often than not, Anissa can be found walking in the woods or watching movies that *sigh* never win awards. Say hello on Twitter @anissaljohnson.

Categories: Poetry

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