2 poems — Jarita Davis
Her nightly walks began in June.
The evening stars split the sky
like white stigmata across the night.
The air held still and cool and
she looked for god in each step.
Found god before her each night
in some new fragile sound.
She took in the world with every breath
opened her chest broad and full
until it all spun like a globe in her mind
a hard marble of land
and water, glistening.
Anything she’d ever leaned on fell away.
Only the land held her now, ushered her home,
the press of night still cold against her cheek.
This picture was taken before the guests left
before my grandfather loosened his tie
buttoned his jacket back on the hanger
and smoothed the lapels flat with his thick hands.
In this moment, the house is filled with people
and neither the sofa nor the photo
can hold him, his smile, and the questions
from his daughters on either side.
Although she is still a girl
there is barely room for my mother
in this photo. There is her right knee,
her dark, bent braid, and bright eyes.
My aunt knows to fold her hands in her lap
and that the party is not for her.
She watches her father carefully,
guessing how long he’ll stay.
Jarita Davis is a poet and fiction writer with a B.A. in classics from Brown University and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. She was the writer in residence at the Nantucket Historical Association and has received fellowships from the Mellon Mayes program, Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, and the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon. Her work has appeared in The Southwestern Review, Historic Nantucket, Cave Canem Anthologies, Crab Orchard Review, Plainsongs, Tuesday; An Art Project, Verdad Magazine, and Cape Cod Poetry Review. Her collection Return Flights is forthcoming from Tagus Press March 2016. She lives and writes in West Falmouth, MA.