Michael C. Davis


              —All nature is a commune of offering and taking, compassion and sacrifice. 

Gary Snyder, 11/9/95



for me

as if youth was long, this night

forever, death distant,

and the guttering flame

beyond fluttering to nothing,

a moth’s wing.



the guitar

and touch its neck, belly,

for a note robust and pure

to face darkness without flinching.

Play as if the small

bones that make your hands

were spirited away

and only the tune

remained to speak

of what fine things they once were.


One day

cataclysm will come.

The angels will open their phials

and crack the graves

and there I will lie stripped—

skull askew, the bones

of  my spine, girdle, and legs

resounding in the eye

like a fork to tune the air.


Until then,

each note departs

the wood’s polished curve

and makes its way against

the darkness for at least

a while before it dies.

The blood loops through the fingers

for another turn.  The earth

listens, still.

Michael C. Davis is the author of Upon Waking, a chapbook published in 1999 by Mica Press. His work has appeared in Innisfree, Lip Service, Poet Lore, and the anthologies Open Door, Cabin Fever, and Winners. He has read his work extensively in the Washington, D.C., area and participates in the Arlington County Pick-a-Poet program, teaching poetry in county schools.



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Elvira Bennet

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David Hornibrook

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