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.


 

Aubade


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

I.

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.

II.

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.

Blossoms
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.

III.

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.








                                    

 

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