Poetry: Nicelle Davis

The Sad Siren

The first man eaten, I loved more than myself. Every bite
took of him, I bit two from my own body.
But he was formed from earth—while I’m a creature of
motion. He diffused as I grew to tilde.
I attempted to break my mouth on the shore,
only to gather back as a winged-
fish. I flew towards the sun to be had by its
fire, but without the cup of
sea to drink air from, I couldn’t keep conscious
long enough to ignite.
With great effort he remained alive for days.
As I injured, so did
I stitch the wounds with my hair—
bandaged gashes
with seaweed. But the scent of
him would be
on my hands—I couldn’t
think right
in its presence—hope
would believe I
could lick
and survive
on taste



My Two-Year Old Son at the Five-Year Old Girl’s Birthday Party

My son is big for his age—
hands the size of adult palms.
He’s at the stage when words
arrive like birds on a wire. No,

he says, and robins fly from
the perch of his lips to protect
their baby blues. People judge—
asking if my son’s alright, as in

right in the head, as in rightly
human. Is he special, they ask,
and I consider my own DNA—
how letters scatter as startled

finches—how sadness feels
like Scrub Jays falling from
the sky, fast as rocks—how
easily I’m distracted by shiny

objects. The room’s decorated
in metallic ribbons. The girls
are applying make-up—colors
of celebration. My son throws

a fit for red lipstick. The girls
offer to shade him a mustache.
He wanders off to find a baby
doll to love. Clipping feet with

a stroller, he says sorry, like a
southern migration. He screams
My baby when it is time to go.
My baby, and a flock of larks
fly into the window of my face.



All rights reserved to Nicelle Davis.

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