A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

The One-Year Servant Talks To Himself

by Joshua Davis

I’ll eat the burnt toast, Love, and scrape the crumbs.
Bring me your laundry. I’ll treat stains and shake out the crumbs.

In the basement, I tamp the spots where the pen ink flowered,
daylight through the windows willowed down to crumbs.

You’re on your way homeone free hour left.
Broom bristles scratch the tile, chasing crumbs.

Another burnt curry, another fist-throated talk
I cook all afternoon. Your fork constellates the crumbs.

On my walk the next morning, my wet curls freeze,
rearing high as snakes. You brush me off like crumbs.

You walk in on my bath. You sulk. You try to keep me off the phone.
I grind my teeth. In sleep, I tear whole loaves of bread to crumbs.

Sleep’s the only place you can’t invade. When I read
or close the door, you cry. You say I’m only giving crumbs.

You’ll find the note I’ve left. O, train whistle. O, thicket.
O, hot-mouthed stranger. Take me in. Josh, you’ve lived too long on crumbs.

Joshua Davis lives in Oxford, Mississippi. His work has appeared in Measure, Goblin Fruit, Melusine, and Arsenic Lobster.


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