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
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,
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 https://austindavispoetry.weebly.com/
Image by Jukie Bot, found on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/6SqTqY