Haint // Teri Ellen Cross Davis

no amount of dilation and suction
hemorrhaging and fever
could’ve erased you or
the pulp of your carved initials
made with the solid grasp
of a still forming hand

science tells me
you are still whispering
inside my bones
that years from now
cut me to the marrow  
and microscopes will read
the rings of your insistent story
no matter the inconvenient
coupling of timing and desire

even now when the bloody show
disappoints our sharpening hunger
do you still cling or are you willing
to let another call my womb

A lyrical essay is part memoir, part poetry, part prose. A fourth wall is there for a reason. (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.) Perhaps I am guilty of sharing too much information. Maybe there are stories I should keep to myself, let them hide behind the vagaries of poetry, behind that rule of the poet is not always the speaker.
But ask yourself which rules am I breaking tonight, and then who made those rules, and to what end do they serve?

Teri Ellen Cross Davis

“Haint” from HAINT Copyright 2016 by Teri Cross Davis. Reprinted by permission of Gival Press. 

Teri is one of the recipients of our 2019 Meret Grants.