“3rd Floor Up”, “3 Sides” and “The Third Time”

3rd Floor Up

The days started

getting slower and faster simultaneously.

And I lost interest.

But at the same time,

they raced and I couldn't see them pass.

And the women behind a big desk let me talk,

and I told the truth,

but I also lied.

And didn't mention

that maybe I just thought

this was the new constant.

Because the truth felt too much like

something that could make her


But she handed me

a folded up paper,

over and on itself.

With the words

[ ]

laced across the top.

And it felt fake

and I felt fake.

And it felt oversensitive and


and meant



But heaviness hung over my face,

framing it,

like those bangs, I tried to grow out,

when I tried to grow up.

3 Sides

I like that square


It's above your apartment.

It's streaming blue

and clouds.

Framed with roof and

gutter and wall.

It reminds me of an installation,

at the museum in Dallas.

I went to in 4th grade.

My friend touched

a Picasso of a vase of


I was worried.

But it reminded me:

this huge room

with a tall ceiling.

And at the very top

in the roof

there was an open square.

So we could see the


Just a little.

And I didn't get it.

Or like it.

But staring up at this day

at this sky

it feels like,


I get it.

The Third Time

And I thought about

how the tiny spines of

a soft plant

illuminated it

when the sun struck

them correctly.

And then I held my breath

and my mind bounced -


I was leaving


There was so much

to do,

to do.


I can't breathe.

Should I drop?

Should I swing?

Two ants trade places

on a brick.

They pass each other

I wonder if they say hello?

My eyes twitch.

Back and forth.

And you greet him

Always greet


Did the weight of heavy shoulder

tell you when they became too much?

What did I do,

worry on?

10 drops to 7 and over.

And the space between tiles

fill up with caulk.

And that's how things are held together.

About the Author

Riley Welch

Riley Welch runs a cleverly named poetry blog (arhymeaday.com) out of her Colorado-gone-Texas-gone-Colorado home and talks a lot about the warm, cuddly potential of each and every bovine. Her writing has previously appeared in Coldnoon: Travel Poetics, Authentic Texas Magazine, and 805, a literary and art journal.