Garth Pavell

Six Years without Furniture

We saw the world from the floor
that was our table, bed and chair.

It gave new meaning to breakfast
in bed and candlelight dinners.

Like nomadic tribes in huts once
ate their kind of Ramen noodles,

we too remained down to earth,
which was also our Seattle skyline.

Evergreens held up by our wet sun
dance like prayers drip in the mind

yet never touching our first floor
thin and tan carpet so young and

unstained by the future that for
now could not tie us to a chair.

It’s Always Midnight

in the lobby of the nursing home where tombstone-shaped signs warn the corner of the floor is slippery when not wet. The guard buzzes me in and tells me my cookie is (still baking) upstairs. I thank her as I do each night and sit in a small chair not made for sitting except this time I take the time to explain my cookie is now my fiancée.

“God bless,” the guard says and wishes aloud for a world where cookies don’t crumble. Her birdsong laughter squeezes through an overworked heart as if trying to expunge her batch of bittersweet chocolate-chipped memories. When the elevator opens my fiancée steps from the dark ages of our prepubescent millennium’s healthcare system, dressed in white, radiating with the levelheaded spirituality of a science-based nun.

The guard buzzes us through the main door capable of simultaneously locking us in and out. A wide-eyed breeze rushes past, believing it escaped the insanely cold stare of the October full moon. “It’s been a long shift. I gave 19 shots of insulin,” my fiancée says like a calm sharpshooter rarely in touch with her feelings. I hand over my Green Machine smoothie as an offering to her unwavering moral compass.

We walk under the Williamsburg Bridge where an elderly woman pitched camp with a shopping cart. She’s talking to a narrow-minded umbrella, explaining the pros and cons of contrition. “Do what your heart tells you,” she begs the umbrella, “otherwise it will follow you for the rest of your life.” The umbrella doesn’t answer but I can tell it is prepared to sing in the rain if it has to.

Garth Pavell‘s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in American Diversity Report, Avatar Review, Crab Creek Review, Drunk Monkeys, Hole in the Head Review, Liquid Imagination, Main Street Rag, Mudfish, Poetry Super Highway, SLAB, The Writing Disorder, and elsewhere. Garth lived in Seattle and now writes in the night of New York City where his band plays original music that blends rock, blues and folk. You can see a song here: The Road