with the ones on your hand and left thigh. Bottled storm, the windows are open.
Take my hand. Walk me through every room:
hallways where thunderheads cluster and brood,
dim alcoves lit only by schools of bright fish,
one smoky-blue pool room, where women
take women into their arms like wrapped parcels, and men watch themselves in the mirrors,
the glint of skin stretched over their hearts, fingernails
trilling down the keys of another man’s spine. Let your fingers fall half-step by half-step, and when we’re sick of smoke and hibiscus,
we’ll wander among the apiary rows.
I’ll let that sugared singing teach me how to praise you—all things buzzing, all things sweet.
~ Joshua Davis
Joshua Davis holds MFAs from the University of Southern Maine and from the University of Mississippi. He earned an M.A. in English at Pittsburg State University. Recent poems have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Monster Verse, and Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters.
Guest Editor Melissa Fite Johnson received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Her first collection, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015), won the Nelson Poetry Book Award and is a Kansas Notable Book. Her poems have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Broadsided Press, The New Verse News, velvet-tail, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches English and lives with her husband in Kansas. For more, visit melissafitejohnson.com.