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Genesis by Monica Davis



Where are you from,

O spark of

Literary life?

What gives rise to you?

Is it a word,

Caught on the edge of an

Overheard conversation?

A thought, or feeling,

That suddenly drills into a well

Of emotion,

So deep and powerful,

That it cannot be tapped,

But must be burned off,

To release the pressure?

A painting? A photo;

A sight once seen that

Must be addressed,

Lest it become an


Maybe that was it.

There you lay in the gutter,

Flightless, and mangled;

A creation that once knew

The loft of wind through feather.


That was it!

The photo had to be taken;

The words produced;

Life had to be breathed

Into that which now lay breathless.

I did not realize how


That would be—

Such scenes can be printed,

But not all who guard the

Gates of publication,

May find it acceptable;

They may be compelled to


An editorial veto.


My mind is pregnant with a


It demands


A fertilized egg of awareness,

It becomes an embryo

Embedded in my brain.

A blastocyte,

It divides, multiplies,

Divides again;

Each word a

Helical structure of

Letters, words, sentences,

That burst from the

Womb of creative thought into


And print,

To be swaddled in a

Hardboard receiving blanket,

Cradled on a shelf,

And read.


"That bird is dead." Say I.

Says my sister,

“No, it’s not!

Look at the Photo!

It’s decomposed!”


The second step in that inevitable

Process of nature.

Not the top step;

A hesitant, indecisive place,

Where life struggles

With that last, shuddering

Breath of air,

Before abandoning itself to

The separation

Of soul from flesh.


No, the second step—

There, a new adventure


Not a measured tread,

But an excited, wriggling, busyness,

Tripping its way downward,

Its only purpose being

To hasten the race

For the bottom

In a slurry of


Feeding the earth into


(Image credit: Monica Davis)

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