A Puerto Rican Dance Festival - Matthew Johnson

Despite the pan-fried heat of late summer
Having long depleted the colors out of the green
On a festive San Juan street,
Brown people, lots of them,
Acrobatic, flirtatious and melting into all sorts of possibilities,
Volley themselves as couples lift each other,
Flying in an air of carnival and musical vibration,
Soaking the sky with smiles beaded in sweat.
In the waning stage light of sundown,
Dancing bodies press in and sway, leaning on from fatigue,
And are ready to put to bed, muscles, as well the eyes of lovers.

Matthew Johnson is a MA graduate of UNC-Greensboro and a former sports journalist and editor who wrote for the USA Today College and The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY). A resident of NC for a little over ten years now, he is a northern transplant who carries many of his sensibilities from the Tri-State, I-95 Corridor he grew up in. He was introduced to the word of poetry by his 8th-grade teacher who used the lyrics of Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel in her lesson plans. While poetry is his passion, his first was baseball, and he’d prefer to be Willie Mays than Walt Whitman. He’s a two-time Best of the Net Nominee and his debut collection, ‘Shadow Folks and Soul Songs,’ (Kelsay Books) was released in 2019. His second poetry collection is scheduled for release in Fall 2022 by New York Quarterly. Twitter: @Matt_Johnson_D Website: https://www.matthewjohnsonpoetry.com