The 3rd floor row home
offers us no air and
evicts us. I follow single file on sidewalks
that cannot hold us side-by-side.
His hometown is a small town
stuck between two cities,
constricted by the rise
of bigger things around it.
Homes sit content and remain silent
as we meander down Broadway.
I follow in darkness;
his hand lightly holds my wrist—
testing whether I follow
willingly. I do.
There is something to be said
when someone wants to show you around.
Factory lights outline the city in the distance
and unite with our street lights.
The rust-colored sky is too bright
for this midnight hour, yet dulled.
I lose sight of the stars;
they are shy in the open sky.
He leads me to a playground,
and we consume its emptiness.
The rubber seat of the swing pinches
the skin of my thighs in its cupped hand.
I am too big for its design,
yet childish in this young love.
The air is no longer close—or
perhaps it breathes itself into me.
His hands stop pushing.
My momentum slows.
Our distance lessens,
and we are light as air.
Deirdre Garr Johns resides in South Carolina with her family. Nature is an inspiration, and poetry is a first love. Much of her work is inspired by memories of people and places. Her poetry has appeared in Sylvia Magazine and South Carolina Bards Poetry Anthology. Her nonfiction work has been published by the Surfside Chapter of the South Carolina Writers Association and Sasee Magazine. Her website is https://amuseofonesown.com.