Poetry: 11:11 by Paige Johnson


Make a wish four hours after dark,

Cast a spell, a line across the sky,

Like the fisherman on the moon,

A celestial angler whose net has worn thin. 

A star-crossed angel abandoned by Polaris. 


My babyface Big Dipper’s cup runneth over.

Yet he’s starved of body, brutally angular, 

Starved for attention, gaze wet and hazy.

He’s searching for meaning in sunburnt memories 

As he lounges in the crescent of aurora clouds. 

Recollection nebulous, he conjures constellations 

With incense sticks and smelly cigarettes.


My North Star lives as far south as you can go,

Above swamps so thick and bubbling, 

They don’t reflect the stars or sun. 

He’s a Space Age Tom Sawyer 

Defacing our white picket fence

With diffidence and what-ifs.


I’m his dreamcatcher cratered by debris. 

His lure clinks against my window,

Slinks through the crack

As shards of moonlight 

Splay across the bedroom floor.

My stomach sinks, my eyes swell.

Heart hooked again by the space boy’s barb.  


There’s a tug but no struggle,

Slack but no give.

A prayer whispered 

Within the ocean of stars,

But dwarfed by the current, 

Swallowed by truth:

Tide only fetches what the shore can bring.

Paige Johnson is the author of Percocet Summer: Poetry for Distancing Dates and Doses and contributor to Anxious Nothings an illustrated collection of ironic, erotic short stories, poems, and essays.