Valentines: “bathroom stereo/listen to music in the shower for clear skin” by Dynas Johnson

bathroom stereo/listen to music in the shower for clear skin 

tears melting down the drain let’s play something i can sway to     imagine shouting to a tobi lou song
in the morning or moonwalking to a bts jam at 2am no one’s watching so i go 
                                                                                      shoulders lose knees free just hit the wolly woop

wrap myself in steam and boil this lukewarm dream within a dream within the largest joke i’ve tasted 
with my own tongue it tastes like licorice         not my palette at all 

i crave day’s soda i crave stir fry i crave your love inside a cream filled pastry inside strawberry milk inside  of all my sleepiest fears you’d wake them up in the middle of the night and tell them to leave i wouldn’t have to wait until morning to feel safe 

* * *

                                                    i like honey and sugar and stardust something with some powerpuff zing 
                             can we save the day? can we save the day? can we save 
                                                                                                                              the pain for another day? 
                                                                   i want to see black girls smiling 
                           and i don’t want no “despite of…” captions underneath their faces

                                                                   i want to see black girls smiling 
i want to see latte pics and twerking and hand-holding and going to church and parties and planetariums and aquariums places where we touch God places where there’s only the glow of each other’s joy 
i want i want i want— 

* * *

                                                       we’re smiling and yes 
                                                                                                you’ve been walking amongst angels this entire time 

how does it feel to see magical girls in real life? do you taste the powdered sugar and spice? if not 
then close your eyes     shampoo your hair          and rinse it out no scrubs or angy vibes right now let’s hum along to the sounds of old cartoons kid laughter anime endings things that made us smile gave us a template 
                           for memory now i want to make a song for today and tomorrow 

do you have genres you prefer? languages? i can dance to anything that can expand my dreamscape 

i daydream about living in southwest philly with my best friends in a house full of dogs and cats and plants and herbs 

i daydream about having a job that makes me feel like happiness is more than money but can be achieved without going without sleep for something i don’t believe in 

i daydream about us but i want to hear your dreams first so i can see if we have similar color palettes 

i want to paint every day and night with our summer shades: honeyed sunlight skin because like i said 
we’re glow in the dark and even prettier in daylight even prettier when survival isn’t a question 

even prettier when we don’t have to explain ourselves to people who see us as ghosts 

* * * 

airplane mode with the fairy-lights on so i become a hazy gem in the mirror
airplane mode so i put my friends on discord’s speaker my laptop balancing on the toilet seat 
airplane mode plus i temporarily deleted instagram and twitter because i love myself 
airplane mode face mask on to get those blackheads out while the conditioner sets into my follicles 
airplane mode because i get calls from people who haven’t contacted me in years or only to see if i am where i say i am

airplane mode because i love clear skin and i love black girls and i love seeing black girls smile
airplane mode because black women seem to keep disappearing and the ones who map their flight 
are too comfortable in their homes 
airplane mode for the weak links who disappoint me but it’s all good we made it this far without you 
airplane mode because prayers go up clearer with no distractions

airplane mode but i can listen to my music undisturbed until i want to be reached 
airplane mode but my sisters can text me whenever they want 
airplane mode but i lied i have my phone on just in case one of my friends need me 
airplane mode but i still hear the voices of my past selves i want to become someone they’re proud of 
airplane mode but i’m lonely/i want love/i want cuddles/sleepy-more-than-just-hand-holding 
kind of love but in the era of corona i’m more single than even several months ago 

airplane mode but we can listen to this playlist all night 
airplane mode because i’m preparing a place for you in my arms

* * *

i’m sad/i’m happy  
i’m crying/i’m smiling 
there’s no real answers/i can tell you right now 
there’s only the world/there’s only us and us 

i want our lives to get their chance to last       so i made this playlist as long as possible

if living’s a series of songs i hope that we can keep singing even when we’re sick of our voices

*  *  *

i want you i want you i want you i want you i want you i want you i want you i want you i want i want i want i want i want i want i want 

About Dynas Johnson

Dynas Johnson was the vice president and an editor for SONKU, a university-founded organization for BIPOC creatives. She has poems in Vagabond City Lit, Sea Foam Mag, Memoir Mixtapes, Mixed Mag, The Aurora Journal, and others. Right now she’s very into indie, funk, playing Minecraft, and watching craft videos on Youtube. Find her on Twitter @Dynasthepoet.