Two Poems by Austin Davis

A Trip Back Home the Summer Before College

We’re only 18, 6 years older than we

should be and 6 years younger than

we have to be. We don’t

draw faces on the river banks anymore

but tonight seems like the kind of night

where we should race each other

to my favorite creek (yes,

of course I have a favorite creek)

and reenact The Tale of Despereaux

with some pebbles and mud.

Let’s write an ode to the tadpoles

afraid to grow into their slimy skin

and ride our bikes to Steak ‘n Shake

(even though you hate the feel

of a leather seat on your thighs.)

We’ll split a Steakburger and pop

and when we’re as bubbly as lightning

bugs finding love without swimming

in a cheap pool of spilled beer,

you’ll look at me as if we could change

the world with a well timed joke

and I’ll show you the lakehouse on the moon

I bought with credit when I was young

enough to still see a mirror in screen doors.

Don’t thank me for a perfect night just yet.

Don’t kiss me goodbye and call me

on your way home. Don’t tell me

the night isn’t a cloud for us to lay on

and don’t build the next morning

from newspaper scraps, sweat stains,

and an alarm clock that reminds us

that spending money is just spending

the time it took to earn that money.

Just close your eyes with your back

turned to the setting sun.

Sit with me in the middle

of this green and gold cornfield

and pray that our clock has

a worse sense of direction than I do.

Hold me tighter and tighter

as our shadows come to life

in a rain puddle of crows,

stand up and stretch. That’s when

we’ll know it’s another one

of those quiet summer nights

where we’re the only kids

crazy enough to still slow dance

in each other’s heartbeat.

Please Wipe Your Feet on the Mat Before You Enter my Mind

The sun was somewhere

between a smile and a yawn

when you finally found

the cloud cover,

the poorly made bed

inside my brain.

You trudged through

the sticky mud floors

as my nightmares

played footsie

with my dreams

and after seeing

the never ending

hallway of doors,

I could only hope

you’d find our first kiss.

In that endless

life between lips,

your laugh

could turn

vampire fangs

into a mushroom

cloud of moths.

Austin Davis' poetry has been published widely in literary journals and magazines. Most recently, his work can be found in Pif Magazine, Ink in Thirds, Folded Word, The Poetry Shed, In Between Hangovers and Spillwords. His first chapbook, "The Moon and Her Ocean," was published in 2017 by Fowlpox Press. Austin's poetry is forthcoming from Your One Phone Call, and Street Lights Press and his first full length collection, "Cloudy Days, Still Nights" was released by Moran Press on May 27th. Check out Austin's website at

Image by Jukie Bot, found on Flickr:

#poetry #austindavis #summersadness

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