The 2River View 18.2 (Winter 2014)

Kelly Nelson

Repairing Our Broken Furniture

I am trying to tell him why
I am trying to tell him what I love
about him. I’ve pulled out

our twelve year old
vows that read now
as IKEA instructions in Swedish

coarsening, gore in you-svang
two dots atop an O sound like shut eyes
pretending to sleep

coarsening, gore in you-svang
the line through an O sounds like my car
skittering an icy lake

I am sounding it out, step by step


a small broke-neck wrench in hand
I am trying to tell him

but he is gone. I have gone. Our home
is gone. The O in no scarred by pock marks.
The O in no slashed in half.


When a canyon is slot enough.
When you can put one boot

on one wall, your other foot
up the other, well then that canyon’s likely a whistler.

I heard it first when I was twelve
hiking with my dad. I startled, actually jumped.

Dad laughed. “Think there’s a train
round the bend?” He wasn’t like the teachers

in school who explain things.
He just kept walking, one crunching step

after another. I heard it just last week,
with my girl, overnighting in Antelope

Canyon. Now there’s a beauty of a whistler.
A real musician that one.

And when it came up
that lip to glass bottle moan and my girl startled

beside me, I whispered, the canyon’s
singing to you, because you are that beautiful.

Kelly Nelson teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University. Her poems have appeared recently in Eclectica, Found Poetry Review, Mixed Fruit, and Tar River Poetry.

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