Laura Elizabeth Davis

Laura E. Davis

Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Tinderbox, Pedestal Magazine, Muzzle, Rogue Agent, and Voicemail Poems, among others, and have been anthologized in Bared and The Doll Collection. Laura is a freelance writer in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner and young son.

Panic Attack on Easter, a Paean

I am barely treading
water inside the stone
walls of this cathedral, its
sea of heavy arches.
Candelabras are heavy
kingdoms hung in salt
water. The lips of congregants
murmur underwater slow-motion
syllables while I hold
my breath because
I do not renounce
the devil. I do not
believe in thy father.
I do not believe in saviors for sins, I do
not believe in sin. I barely
believe in myself. I believe in nothing
but my body’s hard
grip on a wooden pew.
Nothing but the pulsewaves
of heat blossoming
in my throat, nothing but this
kingdom of pressure,
my fat fiery lungs.

He Has a Beautiful Spine

Your skin is still transparent.
If you were here, I could see
your organs and muscles,
glimpse each jigsaw
block of osseous backbone, run
my fingers down every rung.
Would they light up one by one
as bright as a holiday
garland or unravel a scale of notes?
A singular curved column,
cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral.
Two sacred arches, lordotic
and kyphotic, built from
33 vertebrae, ligaments
pedicles and laminae
fused together. It was your first
compliment — beautiful
spine — its sturdy
curvature protecting a
precious cord. You know
all about cords, the rope
that connects neck
to back to hip. That other plait
too, that thick nourishing
thread binding
you to me, belly to belly,
eternal, umbilical, placental.
Beautiful braided cord
reaching through galaxies.