The Homeless Poem Project (No. 03): Laura Davis

Occasions

the girl sleeps on her belly,
hands down her underpants. two fingers
   outside butterfly kick—one for each
   soft fold till
she catches the hem of sleep.

*
sometimes a pillow
against her pelvis—rocking hips
faster and faster.
  sleep comes.

*
at nine a friend shows her how
to squeeze a sock
  down her panties, rub
against the mattress.
she poses in front of the mirror
hands on her hips
    bulge on display.

*
in her mother’s back massager
   she finds what was missing—
the widest eyes, the taut
cords of pelvis.

*
in college she reads on the internet
how to use a faucet. she runs
   a warm bath
   legs against the wall.
she listens to the rush.
she lets her hands float.

*
she is a woman
   who knows
   her own body, prefers
the solace of cool sheets or
fluorescent water, this
  jar of bees
between her thighs.

Of  “Occasions,” Laura Davis says,

I wrote this poem for multiple reasons (I was in a long distance relationship at the time, so take that as you will…). I’ve always written about female sexuality and the body, and I use poems to examine my own history with my body. Female pleasure isn’t depicted enough in any medium, and when it is it’s considered explicit, or pornographic even. Why is that? As far as submitting this poem, I wrote it in 2011 and according to Duotrope it’s been rejected seven times, which is hardly anything. I sent this poem out less frequently because poems about sex are often relegated to themed issues or topical anthologies. Guess I was even censoring myself. That says something about how ingrained our attitudes toward female sexuality are.

More About the Poet:

Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Luna Luna, Toad, Corium, and others. The founding editor of Weave Magazine. Laura teaches for Poetry Inside Out, a K-12 a bilingual poetry program in San Francisco.

Photo (see above): Laura Davis’ writing space

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