Mary Ann Davis
Once your fingers worked through the belts
       and cooling metal

       the raised hood of my car. The engine

had tightened to a small pop, then
       smoke and between wet
chiseled stones

       the road threaded with mist taken from

bodies. Or that's what I thought when
       you found it, the burn,
tilted your

       hand to show the blister, the rotting

rubber. So we waited. You gave
       me elliptical,
in a room

       halved by two rising lights, the planets'

path, all passing through the house of
       Cepheus. Some days
I think it

       was Ophiuchus, and that you told me

to go. Then others: I left first,
       without the car, walked
as far as

       the cemetery miles up the route.

In Greece, Simonides watched a
       girl cough her life to
blood. He carved

       into rock, memory: From her red

mouth the girl gave voice. All I can
       ask of you is to
listen. These

       graves know it. They know my epitaph,

my emptiness. Just hear me-there,
       again-when the moon
crescents down

       to nothing, singing our body's rise.

Mary Ann Davis spent her formative years in Louisville, Kentucky, studied briefly at Hollins University and received her BA from Denison University. She was an alternate for a Fulbright grant to Morocco, and is the recipient of a Cowden Fellowship from the Hopwood Awards Committee at the University of Michigan, where she is currently entering her second year in the MFA program. This is her first publication.


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