Lauren M. Davis

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This Thing That God Made

Look at this thing that God made:
this thing
of swirling skin, hair, and wax.

Coils of flesh twisted
and set
into pattern
to draw inward

Soft golden hairs
the dark wax
that smells sweet
and tacky.

Frail, movable hairs
bend inward
like blades
of bentgrass.

The skin pattern
like insect trails
under bark
or brainy
Green War Coral
at the ocean floor.

The dark wax
is dense and gummy
in a way that
one doesn’t know
whether to leave it
or wash it away.

The coils
of pink skin
into a cavern
to where the eye
can no longer see
through the black:
the coils pour
into the head,
to where one cannot
and should not
forbidden space.

On the back, a flap
so thin and baby–
so weak and dear,
soft and buoyant,
yet it stays there, solid,
with no one’s help.

And one place is a shape
unnamed: a rounded
rectangle jetting out
like a covered mountain,
and so unlike the other

It is something magnificent,
a place for only
sound to understand
how to navigate,
an arrangement
no man would think
to design: the curves too natural.

Yet, it is a thing so ugly
and foreign,
a dwelling I clean
and fight to keep
open and unimpacted,
like much of the body.

I examine it
in awe,
and snip the golden hairs,
the ones that appear
as if
they would grow
into the cavern.

I clean it out,
trying to exterminate
the tacky smell
and the black wax.

The dog’s ear,
the woman’s body,
the grass, the coral,
the mountain shape,
the cavern:
what are these things
that God has made?

Lauren M. Davis attended the University of Southern Maine to obtain her Masters of Fine Art in Creative Writing. Work from her poetry collections Sleeping Through the Earthquake and Women Bones have appeared in numerous literary journals and an anthology. She has appeared as a genre editor for The Stonecoast Review, and works as a freelance writer. She was the Writer in Residence at Hypatia in the Woods in 2016. In 2017, she attended Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program and was the keynote speaker for The Poet Society of Indiana. She teaches Creative Writing, English Writing, and Philosophy at Area Universities.

Image: “Flipped dog’s ear” by VM.

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