SINCERELY by Meg Johnson

Dear Reader,

One of my favorite writing exercises is to write eviction letters and such to the ghosts in my head. Sometimes they turn into fun little poems. Still, I’m not sure my form of exorcism is nearly as fun as this poem by Meg Johnson. Please enjoy.


Jillian M. Phillips, Managing Editor


Dear A,

I’m sorry I had sex at your parents’ house. I did not have sex with your parents. Unfortunately, they were home at the time. Not in the same room, of course.

It was probably rude of me to have sex with another man at your parents’ as you staggered around the yard looking for a companion, ultimately failing.

The man was older. Different parts of his skin felt different ages.

I won’t tell anyone about the orgy on the beach you participated in.

One of my students once asked me how to spell orgy. I said “Oh…um… I thinks it’s o…r…g…y?”

A, I am not attracted to you, but I think you’re handsome.

I’m not sure why you receive so many writing honors. You’re a great writer, but so are a lot of people.

I appreciate that you’re still a nice guy.



Meg Johnson is the author of the full-length poetry collection Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) which was a NewPages Editor’s Pick. Her second book,The Crimes of Clara Turlington, won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award and is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press. Her poems have appeared in HobartNashville ReviewPainted Bride QuarterlySugar House ReviewVerse Daily, and others. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program. She has taught writing at Iowa State University and University of Akron. Her website is: and she blogs at:


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