Two Poems by Josiah Nelson

February 15, 2023


You may not remember your body
until a man sits next to you
on the bus and his elbow folds

into the space between your rib
bones, just how you fit between
your two best friends at recess

when your hair was still thin
and blonde, torn wild in the wind
with no worry their tagging hands

might be the only ones all day
to reach out and feel your body
breathing in their fingers.


On the wooden bridge
the air has to shoot past
my body to get where it’s going,
but the geese already know
to tilt into that gust and glide.
Beneath, river of salmon surge
against this rush to breathe
a lifetime of water between
them and their ending.
I am stuck in the middle
of all this touch, still
learning when to flee
from a push, and when
to seek its embrace.

About Josiah Nelson

Josiah Nelson is an MFA in Writing student at the University of Saskatchewan. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Vast Chasm Magazine, Blank Spaces, Spring Magazine, Fractured Lit, and The Rumpus. He lives in Saskatoon.

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