Two Poems by Donavon Davidson

Dancing in the Dark

Not many see smoke as a way
of opening the body to life.

They see the slow ember of birds
dimming the blue tunnel
and feel icy minnows needling
out of hands of water.

Something they are sure is whispered
must keep them leaning
like that,
poised towards the world,
not the world
they are clinging.

Pressing their ears upon
an imaginary child just born,
the insect that goldens the night,
a name flashing
from a dark body,

a small spark escaping
between hammer and anvil,
a word,
terrifying and beautiful.


A chill wind against an empty bottle,
one body embracing another,

the full circle of one sound
from a shared emptiness.

Hammer against anvil,
the desperate chord of a scream
unwitnessed in night,

the spark that makes them one.

The apple in autumn,
a child walking into a dark room,

a meteor silently falling,
closing around something hard,
opening out of something cold,

leaping out of windows,
hands in the air


like you don’t care


every night not in the night.


Unearthing the Human Sigh

Every night new holes appear,
yet the world feels a little less hollow.

A candle is lit in a window, and a shadow emerges
from the common dark,
a small child
walking down a long hallway.

It's a story we read before sleep.
A fable that stretches a little longer
with every utterance.

Once upon a time, a plane explodes in the air,
brilliant fireworks clamor to be seen.

Radiant colors of creation, desire, and passion
quickly shiver back into the universe.

Now is the time someone falls in love,
pretending those pills are just little seeds to swallow.

What she buries will clamber and cling
until all her hard surfaces cannot be seen.

Then she will climb over her body, out of the hole
she’s dug for herself.

Doctors undress her trying to find some name
she hasn’t taken with her,

something she’s left that will lead them back
to the first page of a diary,

the X they can dig up to find a treasure
they feel is always placed
in something empty.

A scar.
A tattoo from fire.

Every night the many names
soon to be dispersed come into being

and the world becomes
a little less hollow.

They can be heard from bridges or opened windows,
on the backs of old men,

from the breasts of women, between

two lovers trying to find the words
that can endure such nights, the words

that can fall
at the same speed and weight

as a human sigh
that knows no end.

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