Lotus and depression | poets weave


austin davis was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and now lives in Mesa, Arizona, where he studies creative writing at ASU. He is the author of L.otus and the apocalypse, a poetry novel now available from Outcast Press. Austin performs his poems nationwide and teaches teens and young adults how to use poetry as a tool to improve mental health.

Austin is the founder of the homeless outreach program AZ Hugs for the Houseless, Arizona Jews for Justice.

Welcome to the web of poets. I am Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Austin, what poems did you bring us today?

last night
as I drove to your apartment
I threw up
whatever was in my stomach
all over the wheel
and hit a wild cat
I named her Pythagoras
and dug him a grave
with my car keys
next to a stain of purple
wildflowers along the highway
It scared me that I left and didn’t cry
What is the difference
between a handful of benzos
and you hold my face in your hands
and assuring me that I’ll be fine?
do you ever want
an amoeba in a drop of water on mars
when it’s hard to keep my eyes open
and you notice how much weight I lost?
i keep thinking i’m going out
of this bad patch finally,
but the grass has grown so high,
I can feel it brush my lips
you don’t like how bony my shoulders are
but we still touch sometimes
with the lights off

At the grocery store
the cashier doesn’t ask me how my day is going.
He looks behind me
through the long glass window
and pack my beer.
I don’t ask how he is either.
This morning my little sister brought
a picture of our family at the beach
to his class to show and tell.
Dad is sneezing.
My sister shakes the sand from her hair.
My brother and I stand on tiptoe,
fight to find out who is the greatest.
Mom smiles.
In class the children
pass the pictures
turn around,
holding them close
to their little faces,
smearing us with their fingers.
I’m sorry, I keep changing the subject.
The sky is falling
more and more
each day
and I’m scared of what’s to come
when i reach
touch the clouds
and only take the air.

5 feet under
is 3 months
I celebrate Halloween
while my love
my parents
my high school friends
the whole world above me
welcome in the new year
I spit until I make mud
carve masks in my hands
and try different faces
tonight i am a vampire
with sticky earth
between my teeth
later i will be the devil
or maybe a rabbit
if my horns get too soft
to be sane
is to find peace
to be alive
it’s letting go
the way a drunkard
falls off a bar stool
it happens fast
by accident
half asleep
when the ball drops
all glorious with light
you will have your banners
but I will have the verses

if it was always night
the crickets
outside our window
would be greedy
but i don’t care
you would still be
in bed
exhale your nose
on my neck
the morning would never come
we wouldn’t have to talk
on the flames
little by little our lawn
or how they are brighter
than any sunrise
we have already seen

You’ve listened to Austin Davis’ poetry on the Poets Weave. I am Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.

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