Nicelle Davis

Written in the Margins of The Recipe for Sirens


For convenience, they had me birth you
in a common house—thin white walls
blocking sight, but not the sound of mouths
coming up from wombs. I heard your first

cry, as though it were waves on a shore at
night—pitch black, but present. They took
you and left me with a rag full of ice—told
me to rest until I needn’t rest. I refused to lie

down. Looking for you, I woke in a gutter
holding a goat. A joke. Blood on my thighs,
I walked home with the animal. With a knife
to the billy, I tried to bleed out the past—to

empty the memory of your elbow rolling
beneath me—I tried to forget how it felt
to be two doors hinged atop each other—
to be pulse upon pulse.