what came before


What Came Before
Todd Davis
The warmth of a blood-filled sky.
A westerly wind. Half-moon, smooth
as melon rind, floating above
father’s head. A boatyard
with a sea beyond. My sister,
who worked for a shipwright,
lathering varnish onto a keel.
A pod of dolphins surfacing
beyond the harbor’s mouth.
And a fig tree with ripe figs falling,
seeds mashed beneath
grandmother’s bare feet,
her way of planting
a memory that would leaf
in my tenth summer,
years after her death,
when I peeled the fruit’s skin
with my teeth, tasted
part of her flesh.

Photo by Amber Engle on Unsplash

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