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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 6

Todd Davis

Todd Davis
After Being Married for Twenty-Eight Years
The sun hits the ice-coated snow
at 186,282 miles per second, then
slides across the greased surface
of the earth. I woke our boys
this morning with the smell of bacon
spitting in an iron skillet. The smell
of your sex woke me an hour earlier,
and we held each other in the dim light
when garbage trucks rumble
through the neighborhood.
I’ll crack the eggs in the brown
the bacon bequeaths, stir them
until the yellow and white congeals.
This time of year I have to squint
to make out the heads of laurel leaves
as they strain their necks to stay
above snowline. With so much radiance
it’s hard to hide my love for the pleasures
of the earth. When I was ten
a maple split at its crotch by lightning
wept sap, freezing and thawing
in an amber slick. Night turned over
in an unmade bed, and I licked the sweet
until my tongue was raw. What compares
to a cheek on the breast, a hand gently cradling
a lover’s bottom? Near the middle of the river
frazil ice swirls and bucks, kicking water
into the air where it freezes. You love dark
chocolate and sea salt, anything that melts
with the body’s temperature. I love
building a fire in the snow, watching
the russet soil appear beneath the kettle
just as it begins to boil.
Todd Davis is the author of five full-length collections of poetry— Winterkill; In the Kingdom of the Ditch; The Least of These; Some Heaven; and Ripe—as well as of a limited edition chapbook, Household of Water, Moon, and Snow: The Thoreau Poems. He edited the nonfiction collection, Fast Break to Line Break: Poets on the Art of Basketball, and co-edited Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets. His poetry has been featured on the radio by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac and by Ted Kooser in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. The winner of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize and the Chautauqua Editors Prize, Davis is a fellow of the Black Earth Institute and teaches environmental studies and creative writing at Pennsylvania State University’s Altoona College. His webpage can be found at:



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