J.R. Solonche

My Chair


I have placed my chair between

the woods and the feeder, in 

the middle of the flight path 

of the birds. I want the chickadees 

and titmice, the cardinals and

nuthatches to fly above me, to fly 

to my right and to my left, to whiz 

within inches of my head. I want 

to hear the beating of their wings as

they speed by. I want to close my

eyes. I want to feel the sun warm 

on my face and on my eyes. I want

to feel the sun warm on their wings 

and on the sound of their wings and

on the soft strength of the breathing

of their wings. I want to imagine 

what the next world, the world that

I know does not exist, must sound like.

Nominated for the National Book Award and twice-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, J.R. Solonche is the author of twenty-four books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems 2002-2021 (Serving House Books, 2021), and coauthor of another. He lives in the Hudson Valley.

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