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Come Here Clean Again

Gion Davis

Come here clean again


I dreamed I texted you
to come over
& you did. Patti
Smith wrote Because
the Night while she
was waiting
for a phone call
from a long distance
lover in the middle
of the night &
it is really riding
on this waiting,
my fingernail
cracked down
the middle,
this melancholy
appetite, your voice
soft & ragged like
an old sweatshirt
in the morning
on the phone
I know you’re
wearing the same
clothes as yesterday
& I’m watching
people in the street
quietly succeeding
to parallel park &
the tattooed man
in the second floor
window yanking back
the curtain shirtless
to look out
before dissolving
hand over face
into his dark apartment.
I used to be funny.
Sad moms raise funny
kids & I make my mom
laugh on the phone
again & again.
Patti Smith wrote
Easter because she
missed someone.
A girl was crying
in the bathroom so I
left. You call me
baby over text &
I feel it like the first
time you called me
baby & nailed my
pussy to the wall.
I text you to tell you
I'm in the bath
thinking about you.
It's that bruise
the shape of your
hip bone denting
my inner thigh
in January
when we danced
in a bar, you in your
rodeo shirt with red
piping & pearl snaps
singing along in my ear,
is it even a romance
if it doesn't start
with songs about
bereavement? If I don’t
sit up at night sobbing
over my own death
because who else
but me will care about
or remember
all these perfect
specific things
like you saying
Lovesong by The
Cure is a country
song or that night
I left the restaurant
ahead of you and
stood outside looking
in at you and you
didn’t see me
I saw how you looked
alone not knowing
I was watching &
it felt like looking
through a window
at a stranger or at
all the people you
are or have been
when I’m not there
and maybe for the first
time ever I shut the fuck
up for a second
you were sad & maybe
you felt bad because
I was leaving
or it had absolutely
nothing to do with me
and never will.


Gion Davis is a poet from northern New Mexico where she grew up on a sheep ranch. Her poetry has been featured in The Vassar Review, Bad Nudes Magazine, Sybil Journal and others. She has received the Best New Poets of 2018 Prize selected by Ocean Vuong as well as being shortlisted for the Peach Magazine Gold Prize selected by Morgan Parker. She graduated with her MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2019 and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gion can be found on Instagram @starkstateofmind.