Melissa Fite Johnson


Melissa Fite Johnson is the author of two full-length collections, most recently Green (Riot in Your Throat, 2021). Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Pleiades, HAD, The Ilanot Review, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches high school English in Lawrence, KS, where she and her husband live with their dogs. Source


Author photo by Meryl Carver-Allmond

For Felicity

Everyone remembers her haircut, 

lion’s mane sheared like lamb’s wool, 

but few remember why. She stood 

on the busy street corner, broke up with 

the boy she loved. I can’t change 

who I am—I don’t want to, she told him.


I’d never said that to a boy. I said, 

You’re right; that band is stupid. I said, 

I’ll stop watching soap operas. I said,  

I don’t know; what do you think? I said, 

Please don’t leave me. I said, 

I can be anyone you want me to be.  


She walked away, crossed the street, 

plopped into the plastic swivel chair.  

Her bare feet pointed and flexed over the 

metal bar, beside the pile of curls.  

Her eyes blinked in the mirror. She 

marveled at what she could leave behind.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships

Pop Culture

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie


exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”