1993 Tableau sans Lithium


That first season of Bed Days, hours galloped wild maned

on the top floor apartment, my brother & I, 

mama’s plush paisley armchairs flipped & so

we cowboyed, spurred them over the fence & down the street.

Outside, winter brushed its back against the doors & windows.

Inside, mama rolled over in bed to face away from us.

Nikki Ummel is a queer artist, editor, and educator in New Orleans. She is the 2022 recipient of the Leslie McGrath Poetry Prize. She has a poetry chapbook, Hush (Belle Point Press, 2022) and a hybrid chapbook, Bayou Sonata (NOLA DNA, 2023). You can find her on the web at http://www.nikkiummel.com.

Image Credit: “The Magic of Readingby Josephine Florens