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Martha McDavid

I wish you had been higher. . .

You said you’d be a bass guitar

and I said why

when maybe you could have twelve strings

eight more places to be touched,

or the lead, a front line stance

carrying the major strain


but you said No I’ll take the back

four strings to remember

and stay low key in this performance

watching you pick

other players.


Deliver us

us of the rift between

closet and podium

our old blushes now on stage


Deliver us

whose mothers did

through safer channels

than our own, so questioning


Deliver us

from every father

eager boys to make us mothers

demanding us as little girls


Deliver us

to grow again

unimpeded by the blood

our awesome fertile reckoning


destined to repeat ourselves

as we plunge forth, overripe

so long waiting to be opened

sometimes splitting, unredeemed.

Two Forces

I want to lick your grin


a shocking love affair

shuck the space between us

climb in your underwear


I want to take you like a Tristram

through a waterfall and fuck

in dark green moss

in water

up against a tree for luck


Don’t think I couldn’t love you

or that I do, or would

but remember that I chose you

you were standing

and I heard your blood


beating. From a room away

I saw the white specks in your eyes

clear a passage for me

so adept

so unwise


I raped you as I shook your hand

I knew that you would understand.

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