would you believe me?
It’s true. Watch me chart an invisible line connecting the moles on your neck
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.
My harum-scarum, my break-neck, my three-boys-in-one-night My orphan, my royal flush My starry net, my copper fresco, my coat of red felt my afternoon vicodin, my hot air balloon, my Carnegie Hall comeback Today tonight I know this: (the way I know the bone music, the first sentence of Jane Eyre, and the words of the spell to release us cord shadow water black blue): you were mine you were mine down to the glimmer before before I spoke my first word, daddy.
Joshua Davis holds MFAs from the University of Southern Maine and from the University of Mississippi. He earned an M.A. in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing 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 Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The New Verse News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.