“In the Garden” by Jesica Carson Davis

I want to build          not a portal to
but    another new dimension, put it in a box.

We all function within a set of constraints,
whether six flat sides or the time between

being born and when we die. To think
that I am not trapped is a lie        and yet

I lick the edges of my habitat’s boundaries
and find them to taste sweet,

revel in the sugar stench of rotting flesh,
the path of decay on which we are all

set     from the day of our first breath.     
And yet             or perhaps because   

I will not let this house I did not build
retain inherited regret       its roof

becomes a lid that opens over days
that fade with the memory of what we ate

for dinner. If I can remember
where I buried the ring of keys

I will hear them again         jingle
Saturn’s outer soundtrack in my hand

as I stalk, walk the borders of land
deeded to me, for now at least.

If you stand back       far enough
everything is temporary, ownership

a construct. I like         to be reminded
of             to know the limits             of

my restrictions      the insufficiency
of language, find other ways

to transcend or transport
into and past more dimensions

than we can ever touch     smell       breathe       be.
In every house           there is a door

we cannot see. I want to         need
          must find      how      to pass

beneath its hidden lintel, enter
the whooshing stream

that endures        behind          
          permeates           everything



Jesica Carson Davis lives in Denver, where she works remotely as a technical writer for a software company. Her work has appeared in The Laurel Review, Storm Cellar, Stoneboat, Zone 3, Columbia Poetry Review, and other places. She studied poetry at the University of Illinois, worked as a typesetter for the University of Chicago Press, and was the final Alice Maxine Bowie Fellow at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She’s currently working on several manuscripts of poetry and an ongoing project making poemboxes, which sculpturally interpret her writing.