By Nichole Davies

The Cave

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. 

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