Portrait of a Voice: poems by Mary Ann Davis. Number 15 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series, selected by Julie R. Enszer.
Publication: October 6, 2017 [100 copies]
Cover art by Paul Bilger.
Mary Ann Davis earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan—where she was awarded a Hopwood Award—before completing a PhD in English Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Her poems have appeared in In Posse Review and Crab Orchard Review, and received the 2011 Prism Review Poetry Prize. She teaches creative writing and literature at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Girl Reading Storm
Nothing ever happened. Well. Occasionally the sky,
yes the sky would happen. That’s about the only thing
that ever happened. Before, the still yellow air, thick enough
for a knife, happened to plump
green with the idea of rain. It was as if the eye would swell
to make room for the sky’s new idea, familiar flash and crack,
panting July, the easiest idea. I remember this moment
most of all. All the world an idea
holding its breath. The wing of the storm passing over, before
its first down-beat, splatter of breath pocking the white concrete,
leaves turning their backs, red soft dirt-breaths rising,
a transcendent want of breath.
For once, put the book aside. Stand at the window, stand outside
under eaves, stand as if this was your doing. Forget the book.
Read the palm of the lightning, the thunder sharpening trees.
Don’t stand there expecting a gift.