Lisa Nielsen and Jay Young Gerard

Jay Young Gerard

Breathing Lessons


Lisa Nielsen

Dropping Back

Inspiration Piece

That rare expanse of city landscape offered
a concrete welcome mat.
You use the room to stretch your feet and
stare at commuters on their hurried trek.
You look for clues in quickness and frowns, sashaying and smiles.

Where are they hurrying?
Home? To be knocked over by a golden retriever, ignored by a teenager, greeted by a meal left in a stainless steel sink?
A date?
An empty barstool waiting, a hand over yours like a paw, like a claim

You miss that you don’t miss that attention
but fawning conceals disinterest,

So you finally unraveled
the strangling sheets, and stopped
opening doors to debris

My heart has lost its range of motion,
I snuggle in
these moments of transcendence,
where games of musical chairs and tag are obsolete.

I’d once been taxidermied and placed on a shelf, but

today I am an expanse of sidewalk
playing solitaire on a streetside table,
using the second chair as a footrest,
staring through dark shades
observing the rush.

Today the world is my home