A Fold of Chairs

-1-

I need somewhere to sit.

There are curves carved from backyard
trees; ones where the leaves gave up, & flaunted
their defeat. Open windows where breezes
trapped free falling.

I need that instance.

If there were a way to construct a savior,
I’d bend my knees. I’d lay down depths
of weighted world to feel delicate again.

I do not remember anything
but shadow. The failure of light,
the smell of dust, the cradled
passing of promised time.

I stand.

Up.

On legs that surrendered days
ago. I promised myself a rest.
Two arms & a body that could hold
what I want to lose.
In this room,
there it stands.

Waiting.


-2-

To slouch, slung
leg over cushioned
arm. Velvet
demanding a harpsicord(but
there is a separate
room for those). This

room (more like a hall),
brims with endless,
intentional chairs, awaits an
audience as much as it
awaits
a
pod-
ium…these

chairs face the
same way. Except that
there is no notion
of front of the room(and
the room seems
to be in the shape
of a chair). These

chairs face the
same way. Except that
they seem to emanate
from the room(more
like a hall), as though
the room itself has birthed

them. So quiet!
So much space.
For sitting. For
Slinging. For sleeping. Except that
these chairs
fail.

There is no one to sit in them.


-3-

An empty room is an illusion.
A masquerade of silence, waiting
to be filled. An empty seat is an aching.
A desperation of lapsed haunting.

So much past is held in a room.
So many exhaled breaths. So many sighs
of jubilation, & exhaustion, & finality.

You see anarchy. Chaos(ed) movement
of perfect placement.

There is beauty in the echoes.
The arches of bodies that stopped
their fall long enough to recuperate.

I spend my time on the floor. Measuring
the angles of sunlight on the backs
of once great tree trunks. I inhale the scent
of sawdust like I cut the cedar.

I only know how to keep my legs crossed.
How to keep my ear to the ground. I put
my drink on an ever unoccupied seat.
I watch how the water ripples
whenever someone is near. I never take
a sip.

I never grab a chair.

View of the Chair Park, on the Lower Level of the Milwaukee Art Museum


A Fold of Chairs
-by Jess June & Ridire Quinn
Photo by Claudia Mooney:
View of the Chair Park, on the Lower Level of the Milwaukee Art Museum