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Bryana Joy Johnson

First Prize: 2011 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $500

About this Poet:
Bryana is a homeschool graduate who was classically educated using the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. Her many interests include political science, educational theory, poetry, art, music and literature. She is thrilled by language and the flow of words. Bryana has placed in multiple poetry contests and writes about literature and current events over at www.thehightide.com. She grew up overseas in Turkey and currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

That You Love One Another

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God…and the light shines into the darkness
and the darkness has not overcome it. The Gospel of John, Chapter 1

that your joy may be full, every
       buttercup glossy, and the lichen
              green crawling up the steep and the
                     mossy banks of the algae-blue pond,
                            too immaculate with bubbles and
                                   bryophyte fronds for explaining.

That your pores secrete sheer love
       here—residue of living—and your
              tongue flap, always giving names to
                     the sweetness of the way. Slap
                            the globe under a crystal coverslip,
                                   and tip the slide to rays and after all
                                          you can go ahead and call it good.

That the blueberries dotted
       juice-busting in the pancakes be
              perfect and the hurts and the
                     headaches treated with the best
                            medicine—joy incandescent, Edison,
                                   that glows outward and around
                                          into light and surround sound.

That sirens clang music on the
       inside drums. And after, when the
              crying comes, that you remember Me.
                      Oh, that you not forget! That you by
                            means waste the wine-red cup,
                                   that you break flesh into breadcrumbs
                                          and taste the ways I poured it into you.

Friends, I have called you friends
       and given you the oceanic unplumbed
              places, scratched your faces with
                     unsounded depths and sight
                            that you might know the breadth,
                                   the width, the height so well you speak
                                          it in your sleep, murmur it to the
                                                 cold, the blaze alike, let it take hold.

That you not forget in all the flood, the
       flailing, about the blood, the nailing
              flesh on wood while the pulse roars,
                     the life ebbs out for them—the
                            friends, you know. In the end, on the
                                   bend around the road where the rubber
                                          meets the asphalt and the mud-splash
                                                 splatters and things count, well
                                                        this will be all that matters.

Copyright ©2011 Bryana Joy Johnson