By Nichole Davies
There is a cave. A cave full of paintings of old. They ripple through the water as memories written on walls; sharp like the pointed minerals, echoing with the deep pool in the blackness; Dark, desolate, with them she awaits. There among the stale air and weeping ceilings, a remnant of cruel intellect. Her flesh stripped from deceptive breasts. Rouged for man's desire once, lips now teeth; cracked and broken jaw. With calcification her ribs weep; beauty to horror forever framed in with metal beneath. Dagger under chin and delicate hand now never parting from diamond, gold, silver, emerald, wealth. Over her cave domain she reigns. Queen of prehistoric tragedy. Her Majesty. Hurry now, no tears. We must look our most, she lies in wait. An old friend, I shall introduce you. Bone to hard fossil stone.
I have never felt more alive then in the grass:
after I’ve walked far for my favorite meadow, its whispering soaking me back to life with wind blowing over chapped cheeks, flurrying through the matted hair, gentle flies tickling the fuzz on ears and settling on eyelashes, watered earth seeping through clothes, cold, mud squelching behind shoulder blades and toes and Mother helping me bloom wild flowers from my chest, their roots as my nervous system, bare skin itching from grass pollen, shooting whole bushes to Father sky as sprites water my bed and rain washes my foot prints I made through the forest; the mushroom I plucked resting on my thumb, its spores—I plant them as my pyre; a redwood cone in my pocket settles in as the stone, its branches as my name, my rooted clairaudient-guard of sleep.
There is Quiet.
I wake you An orange glow of sunrise sets your dazed green eyes alight Stretching together our joints crack and groan as those that have felt labor but not for sometime Yours more so than mine You who have sustained our family of two with hard work and aching bones you spot the wasp He’s trying to get out hitting again again into the glass The wicker bed you built creaks with each small turn mirroring our morning yawns There will be no work this day Nor the next Opening the window brings only silence as the little black and yellow insect leaves No birds sing no cars pass bye no dogs bark no sprinklers click to water the flowers My small kiss upon your shoulder startles you and closing the window you stare watching the wasp that crumples immediately to feed our roses “What a wonky morning Someday I shall ask them where do you keep your blunt weapons of history? When this pandemic is over and we are allowed to touch the poppies when the dead have faded to feed our roses what will you tell our children who sit in safe and clean houses without fear of each other? What will be said of those who hid inside while those outside died?” We go to make our coffee and I I pretend hearing only the drip of liquid into its blackened pot and the quiet Only quiet outside There is only quiet outside There are no people crying My eyes lock to yours—
No People are crying I pour sweeten cream into the rose bush painted mugs
Nichole Davies is a junior at Rocky Mountain College in Billings Montana and is studying Creative Writing and English Education. Davies’ writing strives to express a growing mind’s experience and spiritual journey through forthright imagination or dreamlike expression.