Moss: Volume Four is out now! Visit our online store to find the piece below, alongside work from dozens of other Northwest writers, in a beautiful print edition.

Beat or Beet?
Juleen Eun Sun Johnson 

Is veggie a beat or a beet?

A beet tongue?

Tongue of red.

with velvet sighs.

Sigh of sighs.

Cut the dark.


Find if you can
still feel.

Feel the sharpness
of the crawl.

Or if the knife is dull.

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If it can feel.

Red hallowed


but in the end

after being blown

inside out

or maybe by design?

An instrument blunt and battered.

Half the beet laying on the freeway exposing its presents to the world.

Juleen Eun Sun Johnson was born in South Korea. A MacDowell Colony Fellow, Johnson earned an MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA. Her work has been published in Nervous Breakdown and Cortland Review, among others. Previously based in Portland, she is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at UMass Amherst.

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Moss is a journal of writing from the Pacific Northwest. Published annually in print, Moss is dedicated to exploring the intersection of place and creative expression, while exposing the region’s outstanding writers to a broad audience of readers, critics, and publishers.

The piece above is now available in print as part of Moss: Volume Four. Click below to order the volume online, or find it at an independent bookstore near you.
Featuring new writing and interviews from more than two dozen Northwest writers and poets, Moss: Volume Four is available online and in stores now.
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