Detail from Dirty Laundry by Jamie Heiden, copyright J. Heiden Photography
Detail from Dirty Laundry by Jamie Heiden

Vanessa Couto Johnson

Browse Gusto

Happy is a pungent word to you. Like knowing is to both of us. My hands can sandwich your ears, but what is boxed. I don’t know what your anger is like.

People make their beds if they believe I will see them. The host folds the visitor into a chair and tries to share dialect/fingerfood that gets beneath nails.

Fun is a strong word to me. If I tell you I want to have fun, am I saying you can disappoint me. My spirit filtering your bathroom mirror.

Locke says desire is a lack of happiness. If so, then a seducer scans for sadness.

Why the long. Enigma is part of the taste, and a taste endows hunger.

You once claimed to be on a meat-only diet when an acquaintance offered her salad. A backward polite. I wonder if you have trouble mouthing no. Roundabout yes-man.

I scan your face for practiced etiquette. And your palate seems so open that it swings. The task of the guest is to guess.