Three Poems by Hilary Davies & Art by Arizona Smith
by Hilary Davies
in the glint of the sun against your skin.
I saw the promise of my future
in your eyes across a coffee shop table.
I dreamt of you a thousand times,
the imaginary you,
a composite of every person I’ve ever known,
of every person I’ve never met.
I fell in love once, or was it twice,
I can never be sure of my own mind;
it turns out that was just a bump
in the way of me hurtling forward.
I felt your hand on my sleeve as we exited the bar.
I heard your whisper in my ear on the F train
and felt your breath on my neckline.
I felt the press of your body on top of mine
entangled on a futon in your studio,
Hey Arnoldplaying in the background
a perverse soundtrack to my fingers inside you.
I tasted the inside of your mouth when we made out last Tuesday,
some sad, existential music looping in the background on broken speakers.
I held you closer as we screamed unintelligibly at the boys onstage,
four drinks in, feeling saucy enough to tango.
As I get off track picturing who you could be,
you special someone, you infinite no one,
I think of who you might have been, that I missed.
And I am sad,
but mostly grateful that I have not met you yet.
You are my adventure,
to seek, to renew, to borrow
Or you might not be,
but the memory is something I’ll treasure
even if it pains me when I lie in my empty sheets at night,
searching for sleep,
nothing but false memories of things that never were.
I’ll find you someday.
by Hilary Davies
Horses dot the landscape as I help myself onto the stone fence
My brother lags behind, tripped up on tall grass and looking cool
He, unlike me, had some trouble crossing this river, a modest river
I know he’ll be beside me with a million questions about the sky
Now I cherish these few moments alone,
the only ones I’ve had so far on this expedition
Because these days, I feel too old for my shoes, clothes, usual hiding places
I long to hold my mother’s hand without feeling like a needy child
Instead I hold back
and brace myself for friendliness with near strangers
When I was young all I wanted was someone, anyone’s attention
I was a screaming sun child,
a mud dweller, avoider of looming shadows
Now I shrink like violets,
like other flowers in evening, in darkness
I am a whispering moon woman,
hands reaching out for the goddess’ embrace
Not knowing if I’ll get reciprocation or a cold shoulder
and thrilled at either
My brother’s laugh beside my ear
snaps me back to what is a reassuring sunset
We make our way back across the river,
one behind the other, a balancing act
His eyes are not on my back but on his feet,
as are my own, and I feel at peace
Concern or no, I am not afraid.
a relatable poem
by Hilary Davies
i think i got it all wrong
there’s a difference between wanting something
and having the means of getting it
i think i could have been a black hole to you
and yeah, i sucked you up,
but i think i liked it.
all the nasty parts of me rolled up like a worn sweater
patchwork in your blankets,
constellations in your roughed up,
mucked up ways of not answering your phone —
though i understand your contact allergy
because i know i’m too much, you think i don’t know?
i can’t dismiss that fact
like i can’t dismiss the pockmarks on my body
or my shitty posture, my crooked spine,
the way my shoulders sit above my knees when i crouch down
the black of my bra peeking through to say hello
my mess has the charm of an artist’s studio
i know what i am, but what are you?
you’re one of those tiny dogs that’s always shivering
because they’re ill at ease with the life coursing through their veins
you’re a hardwood floor i crawl across
to find the book i accidentally shoved underneath my bed
you’re the sole good lyric
in an otherwise forgettable indie rock song
fuck, man, i don’t know
if any of those things strike up anything stirring in me
something that’s enough to write a decent,
all encompassing, relatable poem
i’m not at that point where i can correlate
a headache with a consolation prize
if i’m wrong, at least i can say i tried, unlike you