BY JACK DAVIS
Geo says that on the way to church, where he was Jesus
in a play about the resurrection, the cops thought he was using the beard
as a disguise and told him to get the fuck down now. There is a plastic-
flower wreath at the one intersection in town, where an off-duty
ambulance once sped through a red light and killed a man
on his bike riding home. After washing my hands at school, flicking
the water off because there are no paper towels, I’m told that a girl had
hanged herself in there, that her parents wanted her to be a doctor,
and in her letter to them she mentioned a paralyzing fear of blood. The news reports
of a glitch in GPS software that led one person off a cliff, and on the way down
Siri was saying, proceed to the route. A nurse was asking us to describe safety.
That morning, mom brought a binder of my Calculus notes, but the doctors
wouldn’t allow it because the prongs were too sharp. Tell me about safety,
the nurse asks. Say what soothes you. List five people you can call.
Write your exit plan — and another teen with visible scars
uses his green crayon to draw a spiral directly onto the table.
BY JACK DAVIS
In this room, the present
tense is a choice, so
Sara and I (friends) drink
margs on the boardwalk
and gossip about that girl
who named her baby Clive.
My grandmother (living) kills
a crossword puzzle on the couch
and in 23 Down etches my name
into four blank boxes. I am hiding in the bathroom
watching Tik-Toks about attachment,
and my Love (my love) FaceTimes his family
across two oceans. The present tense is a choice
in this room, so here Ben (sober, alive)
cups his hand around his girlfriend,
and laughs as Kit teaches me the word
for Left in Thai. Lelah (still talks to me)
talks to me on a bench in snowy Greenpoint
and through the center of a donut
I take her picture.
In this room, where truth is a choice
I don’t take, where loss can speak,
animate, and dance,
like the poorly designed robots
at Chuck E Cheese’s, we are all at my
30th birthday. Men in jockstraps serve mushroom
caps laced with psilocybin
and as the walls melt, we say
death is an illusion, and that we’ll never
leave each other (ever). On the comedown,
we all (together) eat mediocre cake, and we all
(together) sing a bad Sondheim cover.
I’m wearing a black evening gown
and pearls, and still little high,
I kiss every one of you. I’ve missed you.
Muah, goodnight. Love ya, g’night.