I. Alive in Naked Earth

Holding shovel is a boy—not boy so much as a body growing.
How his skin—patch of ground—is like a bed. What can’t be
sown in youth? Clean well mouth—spring of throat. New. My

skin’s a stained sheet tied to a dry-line. I’ve asked him, to fold &
bury me? He’ll do as instructed. Spade corner to garden corner.
Hands of earth against my mouth—there was a time I believed

in the all consuming. I want to believe again. Holding a shovel,
is a boy. Buried alive, I reclaim something:
                                            remember when love smelled like rain?

II. Buried Alive in Cinder Block

My   students   build me   into
tower.     Standing   for   three   hours,
reading old texts aloud, I have no idea
what they are doing on the other side
of me.    Eventually they pullback the
bricks to reveal     graffiti. A girl who
cannot   hear,  has   drawn   a   sun   in
sunglasses.  The  man  in  charge    of
safety admits:   I enjoyed that: I really
Truth told, so do I. Isn’t this the
story  we’ve  longed for?        Babel—
that  universal  reach              towards
something larger   than self.       I ask
what’s   remembered;   and   no   one
knows what to say. Or is it
                                            how to say…

III. Masturbating in Someone Else’s Bed

I’m not home when he begins to ignore me; I hold my breath until blinded by asphyxiation. I’m again void. Again, invisible. Light. It’s all heat now. I turn towards myself; she has our face in our hands. She’s pounding it into the ground. As sky snatches ocean, held high, she drops me. A skyline fall. Covered in blood, I come—sobbing with the automatic song of pleasure— my fingers red stains—robins fluttering over broken eggs—their wings sound
                                            the question, Why? Why? Why?


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NICELLE DAVIS is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her most recent collection, The Walled Wife, is available from Red Hen Press. In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. The author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She currently teaches at Paraclete High School.

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