Jack B. Johnson

Jack Blair Johnson is a third-year Sociology major. When they are not working on school, Jack enjoys spending time with their cat, Luna, painting with watercolors, and going for runs. They hope that their work speaks to people, especially to those who wear their hearts on their sleeves.

“Summer 2019”

Inspired by the song “Summer Skin” by Death Cab for Cutie
I try to remember
The bumblebees and blueberries atop mountains
It was the summer of true love
But it was too good to be true
Because I wasn’t me and you weren’t you
That doesn’t make it any less real
 
I was a fragile frame of insecurity
A girl who was sick with love
But now I’m the boy of my own dreams
Not yours
 
And that’s ok
Because I love me now more than I loved you--
More than those days we spent
Under the sweltering sun
When it felt euphoric to think I was yours
Even if it was tearing me apart
To know that I wasn’t
 
That summer was beautiful
But we both wore masks of blissful ignorance
Our skin freckled with uncertainty
That would soon peel away with the change of the seasons
Leaving trails of lies and dried dead wildflowers lying in my car
 
I knew the fairytale was going to end
And we were going to realize that we weren’t us to each other
And that this freckled skin that we were wearing
Was just armor to protect us from the truth--
That my unstable sadness could no longer withstand
The waves of your own journey
And the wreckage you were about to create
 
I try not to be mad anymore
For your careless escape
But when I feel those feelings rise
They sit like a lump in my throat
Threatening to burn away the progress I have made
I manage to swallow the sadness
Knowing how much happier I am now
 
We’re a year from then
I still remember the taste of your salty lips
And see flashes of flushed pink skin
When we had spent the day at the beach
My muscles aching from the long hike--
Those are just memories
It doesn’t make them any less real
Now that the feelings aren’t there
And my skin is no longer freckled
 
We don’t talk anymore
And we probably never will
There’s nothing I can do about it
And that’s ok
 
For now I’ll turn up the radio
While driving down the sun-drenched country road--
 
“Then Labor Day came and went
And we shed what was left of our summer skin”
 
And thank you
For loving me for who I wasn’t

“August to September”

For M.
I think a lot about those
Two hot summer nights
 
The first one just as innocent
As the first kiss we shared when we met
 
The second one is an image of you
In broken light –
Nudging my legs open
 
Nobody has ever made me feel
So seen
So wanted
Before you
 
Of course
It was too good to be true
And just as fast as it was real
It was over
And we can’t even look at each other anymore
 
Those two hot summer nights
Were just as sweltering and fleeting
As you