The 2River View 28.3 (Spring 2024)

Dave Nielsen

I’m Right Here

The doll jeep in the middle of the floor
is ready to go, surfboard strapped
to the roof rack.
It’s got a real radio
that picks up, you know, well, the radio,
and a spare rubber tire
in case of a blowout.
If I was five feet shorter,
I might take this puppy
for a little spin.
At the very least, I could just park there
beneath the table lamp,
flipping through tunes,
watching my humongous family
get ready for the funeral.
Closed casket, of course.
Everyone still wondering
where the body went.


Momentary Musing on Earthquakes

When you imagine an earthquake,
you probably think of dishes rattling in the cupboard,
tiles falling from the ceiling,
roads opening up and swallowing cars whole—
bridges snapping,
buildings collapsing.

None of these is the real earthquake,
however, that you need to worry about.
The real earthquake

makes no noise,
sneaks up behind you—
exhales on your neck
colder than a blade
before entering in one ear

and exiting out the other,
more invisible than an electron.

Only your eye begins to twitch.
In a moment, your whole body is trembling.

David Nielsen is the author of Unfinished Figures. His poems have appeared in American Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Rattle, Ploughshares, and other magazines. He lives in Salt Lake City.
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