Three Poems by Hilary Davies & Art by Arizona Smith

Lover, I

by Hilary Davies

I saw the reckoning 

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

Clouds like cotton candy stretched above an unconcerned horizon

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