David Lohrey

Crows Are One Thing


She had this air. This way.

Like a gull: over water, land, you name it.


This is my life. My…uh.

She was everywhere.

She painted.

Charming, fresh breath, fragrant.

Plein Air. Not plain but plein; natural.


Air borne disease.

It’ll soon die down.

Sea air, sure. On the river, same thing. 


We had to air out the room before we could sell.

The realtor insisted on getting a pro. A team, he called it.

Not a trace. 

They don’t take writers. They don’t want writers.

They don’t want you to have stuff going on, you know.

They had a novelist once; it didn’t work out. 

That is why they prefer losers. They’re not looking for a star. 


He runs every day before sunrise, by the air terminal.

His wife died there. Hit by a bus. Right out front.

The bus was struck from behind and she got beneath, trapped.


There’s not much air pollution here. Not here.

Most of it’s from China. Dust. Air’s yellow. Yellowish.

It hangs.

It flows in; it swims. People can’t see, let alone breathe.


Nothing wrong with a little air; we need air.

Wanna join?


Just listen.

The gulls; there’s a mist. The fog is like a mist.


Yeah, that was her.

We got to listen to her live. She sounded nervous. She was on the air, live.

Around the world; it is hard to grasp.


I don’t like the air. I don’t. 

Do you?

Just a crack, yeah. 

More? I said a crack. It’s the clouds; they look like rocks.


We’ll be asphyxiated. Better open a window.

Don’t kid yourself. 

They’re cunning. They are. They hide, suddenly vanish. 

Mosquitos. They’re smart; and then come out while one is asleep.

They’re like fish. Not the bottom of the lake but the bottom of the room.


I can’t breathe. I feel winded.

Put on the air.

There’s a thing, a whatever: no air from 3 to 5. 

To prevent black-outs or brown-outs. 

The sun. We’re not living; we’re drifting. Floating.


We need trees; more trees, forest darkness, a black forest.


There are long-standing grievances to be aired.

They almost came to blows. 

It’s the salt. Everything is sun-bleached, old and worn.


I stepped out to get some air.

You went by train? 

“Give me air.”

You weren’t driving, were you?

It’s all grass; as the crow flies, man. 

David Lohrey was raised in Memphis and is now based in Tokyo, Japan. His first book of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, draws on his experience growing up in the era of Martin Luther King’s killing, Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, and Watergate. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cardiff Review,  Dreich Quarterly Review, the Delta Review, Dodging the Rain, Expat Press, Southword, and Stony Thursday Anthology. He was a 2020 finalist for LA’s Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, David saw his second collection, Bluff City, published by Terror House Press. Editor-in-Chief, Shikoku Papers.