Living in Suspension

by Jonathan Greenhause


The neighbors complain about the noise,
so I tell my wife   Let’s screw hooks into the ceiling;

we run a series of weights & pulleys   throughout our apartment
as our lighter-than-air bodies   are propelled between rooms

& our dangling feet flee from the floor,   our footsteps now imaginary
& pertaining to a terrestrial past

negated by this tendency towards inaudible motion:
No pins are dropped;   no cutlery clanks against hardwood planks;

no glasses shatter into a Jackson Pollack-like canvas of shards;
but our neighbors insist   with the banging of their broomsticks,

protesting against our remembered racket;
& so we respond   with an arsenal of soundless pirouettes,

a concerted symphony of winks & nudges
& kisses blown across   our parabola-laden ceiling,

our tangled spider-web of wires   from which we hang.
We’ve won without winning,   having lost the lives we led

in favor of this restaged rendition   of a Peter Pan-less Peter Pan,
yet we reign   over our midair kingdom;   & years later,

when our sound-challenged neighbors
have left the sphere of the living,   it’s too late for us to change:

Our choreographed flights   are now second-nature,
& our aged dog’s accustomed   to this geography of clouds,

our open windows leading out   into the grand expanse
of a connected construction,   a latticework of towers, blimps, & satellites,

the sky no longer the limit   & the world irretrievably beneath us.


Jonathan Greenhause received a 2014 Willow Review Award and was a finalist or honorable mention in 2014’s poetry contests from Naugatuck River Review, New Millennium Writings, Red Hen Press, River Styx, and Peregrine. His website is

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