Alison Turner Plant Questions

by Nicelle Davis

When a potted plant tilts to the left, does it need more soil or love? 1

You realizing you grew up in a cult, real time, is seeing robins fall like hail. Who is the source? My car is dented with the imprints of sky shadows. A million little beak holes in the hood. I collected their red breasts in a moving box; they weigh the shape of your body. Where will any of us find a nest? I continue to humiliate myself in a dress called love. Too tight. Too short. Nipples left out past novelty. Any way in is a way out. I don’t want to break before unity’s built. Is anything made to last? My left breast never fully surrendered after breastfeeding—13 years later, it still weeps at orgasm.  

When a potted plant’s roots span out and hit the side of the pot, does it feel trapped or safe? 2

When was the last time you talked with your Dad? He’s dying, like the rest of us, but different. See the timer on his ticker; how many times will you regret not taking that last phone call? Time subdivides. Feel that; every second a multitude of chimes. Think of Alternative- Universe-You who is a good daughter. What your dad didn’t understand, years ago, (when he called suicidal) you were already on a ledge with a freshmen college girl who (being raped) blamed herself and longed for gravity. Who are we to say, we can’t talk now

Remember the game where we dropped packaged eggs from the 2nd
story—how an over wrapped yolk burst like the sun in its final days? 


1 Plant question (title) by Alison Turner
2 Plant question (title) by Alison Turner

Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her poetry collections include The Walled Wife (Red Hen Press, 2016), In the Circus of You (Rose Metal Press, 2015), Becoming Judas (Red Hen Press, 2013), and Circe (Lowbrow Press, 2011). Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, MHA, Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center, and with Red Hen’s WITS program. She is the creator of The Poetry Circus and collaborator on the Nevermore Poetry Festival. She currently teaches at Knight High School.