David Lohrey – Two Poems – 3

 When the Floor Drops
by David Lohrey

Right there, there; he’s in the show. In
the greatest show on earth, my uncle
rides a motorcycle at 100 mph horizontally
round and round from the floor to the walls
in a circle, and then the floor drops.

He risks his life to make a living. It’s the Depression:
1937, at the Erie County Fair, just steps away
from Niagara Falls. My dad was just a boy.
I wasn’t there. It was back then when America was 
young. It was when America was still weird. 

He flew until he was riding parallel to the ground.
If he slowed down, he would crash. A crash landing,
in point of fact. He drove without a helmet, so everyone
could see his beautiful hair, blown back, and his face
contorted. Suddenly, there was nothing there.

Did he shout, help? Before he died? My uncle Clyde
fell when his bike stalled. He and his bike were whipped
around the walls, careening and tumbling, until the gasoline
splashed around. The explosion set the place on fire;
the cylinder contained the blast so Clyde was blown to bits.

His luck ran out. That’s what people said. Some said
he had it coming. Don’t press your luck. The bottom
fell out.  He learned he could count on nothing. Hope
doesn’t mean shit. It was his turn, Mac announced.
People got bored and went to watch the tattooed lady.

Step right up.

The State of Maybe
by David Lohrey

I began to wonder how I would get away.
I no longer believed I could live without him,
but we were no longer friends.

He’d begun as a vice, then something closer to remorse, 
never made it to a love affair. Now, no longer a sin, 
my departure feels more and more like betrayal.

I would go but he wouldn’t let me.
I want out. He says go. I will not walk out on this man
who taught me everything I know.

He didn’t invent me but he found me
when I was starving. I was barely living.
He kissed me. He made my troubles disappear.

He fixed the faucet. Now, I’m leaving.
Adios doesn’t quite cut it. I’m never coming back
just about does it. See ya is not the same as good bye.

It’s not leaving but leaving someone, you see.
Saying hello to tomorrow, alone, is not the same
as yes. It’s a matter of welcoming maybe.

Good bye to all that.
I’d rather be by myself.


David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Canada, and Lithuania. His poems can be found at Nthanda Review, Otoliths, Eunoia, and Impossible Archetype.  His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo.