Lisa Olsen

When the road is a flat line

I saw the car fly
    across the median
like it had forgotten gravity.

I saw its rind
    as passengers were peeled
from its pulp.

I saw somebody pushing
    prayers into the apse of some
body’s chest.

I saw that church
    rise and collapse
at the service.

I saw the other wearing a blanket
    like a shroud, laid in the dirt
six feet too high.

Beside me, you
    planted your feet
against my pull away. Helpless

as we were to act,
I didn’t want to see
two men not drinking breath

back into their lungs,
I didn’t want to see
how critical

their condition was
of their lives. I didn’t want
to see the mourning

news from days later,
telling me
what I already knew.

Lisa Olsen lives in Ottawa, Canada with her partner. A former ESL teacher, she now works as the Editorial Coordinator for a scientific journal. Her work appears in antilang., Not Very Quiet, Into the Void, and iō Literary Journal.

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Spring 2021