Patricia Davis

from The Water that Broke You, forthcoming this month from Finishing Line Press:

And Us Inside

Suppose it's not birth
our universe contracts,
expands instead in a slow
peristalsis. What creature do we nourish,

going back and forth
for coffee, extending, withdrawing
our hands? What can feed

on our love? A love, for example,
of steam, belly dancing off black coffee

where does that slip off to, decades

from now, when the world takes
back our eyes? Quiet
stars. Dead or not, they shine. 

The trees just stand there and breathe. 
God, suspecting the burden
of brain, eyes, chose to be mist

pressed against a lake.
We take our next burning breath. 
The moon flowers, half rock, half light.



night when the roof lifts off

and the walls fall away

and only the stars contain us

and dark threads beneath the eyelids 

and pulls the cover shut

and crickets sing to themselves

and wear out their wings in the grass

all that has ended 

each instant the mountains

are more themselves

roosters call to each other

like crippled songbirds

each second the stars

sink farther and the moon brays

in its barn made of light

One Sun, One Moon                

Tell me what your foot is for if it is not infinite . . . .

                                    Francisco de Oraa


Bougainvillea blossoms
on the street,
on the sidewalk,

in a sheaf
of dark hair.

The shadow
of the wrought-iron
chair on the patio tiles

makes a labyrinth.
Ants, each with

a tiny shadow,
crawl in and out of its
false walls. 

All day etchings
of night are before

us in the shape of
what we love.
As for my foot

its utility, yes, is limited. 

But I see the sun

splatter its script
on the sidewalk,
watch a bird

scrawl its flight
in shadow on the page.


The sun writes
of what it can't touch,

the side it hasn’t 

managed to stroke,
of what 
it held and let go.

Words, like
shadows, indicate

the outlines. We speak
in silhouettes, make
spider silk

of a bird call. 
If the skin

could speak it would
choose the sun's 
tongue—its flask

of light,
its stealthy

blundering love.
I once was wrapped
in loss. Grief

was my shoe,
my sidewalk.

purple the dirt,
glow from a crack

in the asphalt.
The sun makes silver

fruit of a leaf. 
I don't know
who is speaking.


My eyes

one sun, one moon

make a womb now,
a cradle of thread.
The world turns in it

gently. My foot

who knows?

Patricia Davis' poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, The Atlanta Review, Smartish Pace, and other journals. Her translations of Cuban poetry have been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Puerto del Sol, and The New Laurel Review. Her chapbook of poems, The Water that Broke You, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is the author of several plays and co-author of an award-winning nonfiction book, The Blindfold's Eyes.



Current Issue
Contributors' Notes

Email this poem Printer friendly page


Indran Amirthanayagam

Nan Becker

C. Wade Bentley

Gigi Bradford on Hailey Leithauser

Patricia Davis

Stephen Devereux

Gail Rudd Entrekin

C.M. Foltz

Anton Frost

Paul Grayson

Hedy Habra

Patricia L. Hamilton

Maryanne Hannan on Suzette Marie Bishop

Donald Illich

Sonja James

Judy Kronenfeld

Hiram Larew

Jeanne Larsen

Sean Lause

Mark Mansfield

Laura Manuelidis

David McAleavey on Terence Winch

Mark McBride

George Moore

Christopher Norris

Barry North

Andrew Oerke

Al Ortolani

Jef Otte

William Page

Rebecca Parson

Beth Paulson

Patric Pepper

Simon Perchik

Heddy Reid

Oliver Rice

William Rivera

Joseph Saling

Dave Seter

Felicity Sheehy

Robert Joe Stout

Paul Tayyar

Jennifer Wallace

Robert Wexelblatt

Anne Harding Woodworth on Jody Bolz

Katherine E. Young

Sally Zakariya

Burgi Zenhaeusern















Last Updated: Feb 22, 2020 - 12:30:13 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2020 Cook Communication.