5.08 / August 2010

Crossfire Chemistry of Nightmares and Telephone Calls

listen to this story

Pituitary gland: well the size of a pea at the base of the brain—
floods my whole self in the wet rush of feeling. Rivers of fire
across channels of   thought begin to form an image. The sun

is falling in orbs the size of grapefruit. Juggling these lights on
a high-rise ledge, I walk over the line of gravity. Phone rings.
I wake before knowing if what comes next is falling or lifting—

find your side of our bed empty.   You’ve called to see if
the dresser and kitchen table are ready for you to pick up—
if our son has been split 50 / 50 by ink and paper cuts. Sure,

I say tracing the profile of our sleeping child with my fingers—
rubbing ours from the brim of his nose. But the marks of us
refuse to come off—my eyes your mouth forever his. I pull

my feet over the edge of the bed—walk to the leaving table—on
the signature line, I sign gravity. Then I begin to slice fruit into
halves—wet light in a bowls of skin—to offer when you come.

In the Story of Adultery that Doesn’t Happen

listen to this story

There is a painting in the hotel lobby of trees by a river.
In the river, a reflection of something red—shape
disturbed by currents—hot color smeared across
an unwalkable pathway. This might suggest that
the sky is burning while cool tones drown the seeable
world. I keep my eyes on the painting. There is
a sense of movement in its stillness. Call it art—this
distraction form the possibility of your lips against
my saying no. Contrast of tones. I want to rub green
spring beneath your skin (dry shore) with my tongue
(damp rag)—would like to hang you on a wall (crucifix)—
pretend this is my home of 5,000 rooms. Perhaps
those are not branches, but a tangle of limbs. Perhaps
those are not leaves, but silk scarves tethering hips
to the vanishing point. It’s all (over)lap. Perspective. Inside.
A world. A frame. A hotel. Outside. A block framed
by four streets. An exit unto an entrance. Repeating. Yes.
This is a mistake, I say. Logic. Red merely marks
the presence of a bird and you are not a choice I can make—
though I would love to cup fire from this stream of
brush strokes—drink feathers—become flight—rise from
the street to be possibility. Beyond a hotel canvas—
red mark. Might be hell. But then. Might be song in midair.

Nicelle Davis's most recent collection, In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. She is the author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas, and Circe. Another book of poems, The Walled Wife, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She loves PANK. nicelledavis.net
5.08 / August 2010