if we donโ€™t make it past this I want you to know I love you

quick touch me the way Iโ€™ve seen Ohio & West Virginia touching
secretive & unexpected & impossibly soft
where I once spent $180 on fireworks in the name of love
that fell straight down from the sky like the rain
in Denver standing in the parking lot of the apocalypse
slathered with sunscreen & deaths in the family
full of chemical sadness & funeral salad
kissing the winking mirror of my memory
eating Frosted Flakes on the bathmat
bleeding barbecue sauce blood all over the bed
where you reached for me & said I think we should make a plan
to leave the US before the election
& I thought is there anything sweeter
than the dark wrung sponge of my pussy
the strawberry juice on my shorts & Reddi-Wip on your chin
while we imagine pulling the ripcord together before our country demands
we climb into our body bags & zip that zipper
like a long comet zipping up the Milky Way
over our heads

This but better

The past
couple weeks
the crying
has been so
like my face
is newspaper
floating on water.
If I uncross
my legs,
have a beer,
scream in the
street, watch
my friends
kiss in a club
and eat lipstick
off each otherโ€™s faces,
Iโ€™ll feel better.
In the morning
there will be a picture
of me on Instagram
looking like a
boney sex alien.
Iโ€™ve never felt
by someone
I havenโ€™t kissed.
Talking to you
is like letting you
scoop my insides
out with a
melon baller
but not in a
bad way and I
think you feel me
doing it too,
digging around
in you trying
to make room
in your life.
I get out
of the car and
cry my face off
because my better
isnโ€™t good enough
and there are
so many bones
in the human hand
which Iโ€™d forgotten
until I held yours.
In the street
outside my
I watch
my upstairs
neighbor in her
window taking
her sweatshirt
off and flashing
the blank
of her armpit.
I want to tell
you everything.

Inside the heartache inside the heartache

Isnโ€™t it absurd that this might be the way Iโ€™m supposed to live

Pulling apart onions over a frying pan

And the neighborโ€™s peacock calling it evening

This town a tired eye Iโ€™ve hidden from

Inside the heartache inside the heartache

My heartacheโ€™s heart

Where the big hurts reside exactly as I left them

Like a painted matchbox from Mexico housing

Two minute wooden llamas

And one tree inside

An old roll top desk in an attic that used

To be my parentsโ€™ bedroom

A whole scene to play with if I try

The dead and the night we forgot

To be friends becoming happy companions

The tree is love of course always

Standing there like an idiot with nothing to say

Your sad butt in jeans

we talked about the weather
it used to be different last year
in childhood

the vortex
the hurricane
winter stalking the skyline

every dark copse
& empty intersection
the burning green eyes

of traffic lights
blinking above cones
of fog in Connecticut

the way you looked
half asleep
putting your coat on

over your long hair
& my panicked bus ticket
as if bad news canโ€™t touch me

in the city but you can
you know exactly
where my pancakes are buttered

the waitress with gold wings
on her sweatshirt said Iโ€™m sorry
Iโ€™m a waitress now

Iโ€™m only going to be a waitress
as long as Iโ€™m a waitress
Iโ€™m only going to live as long as I live

red end of a pool cue
cigarette cherry
sitting in the back

in a mood
like youโ€™re ready to leave

cold catalytic converter smell
kerosene on wet birch
the knobs of your ankles

in pedal pusher pants
heirloom tomatoes
our twisted hearts

my poetry girlfriend
your sad butt in jeans

when you walked outside
to smoke after I pissed you off
while we were dancing

I was afraid
Iโ€™d never see you again
& then I never saw you again

Gion Davis is a poet from northern New Mexico where she grew up on a sheep ranch. Her poetry has been featured in Wax Nine Journal, The Vassar Review, Blush Literary Journal and others. She has received the Best New Poets of 2018 Prize selected by Ocean Vuong as well as being shortlisted for the Peach Magazine Gold Prize selected by Morgan Parker. She graduated with her MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2019 and currently lives in Denver, Colorado. Gion can be found on Instagram @starkstateofmind.

*Image credit: Georgia O’Keeffe, Untitled (City Night), 1970s.