National Poetry Month Day 28: Geffrey Davis



who hands o-
ver their on-
ly begot-

ten any-
thing to this
white-teethed world

if god so
loved ___I nev-
er knew him



would you believe
this mothafucka

at the Latin restaurant
leaned in then reeled

back and hollered___ Ewww
Daddy stinks!___
for all

to hear___ I admit
I hadn’t showered

since the day before
yesterday ___in my

normal absent-minded
kind of way ___so he

could have been right
which made me laugh

and made him double
down—he asked to see

my arm sniffed loud
as hell when I extended it

and this time: ___Ewww
Daddy stinks because he’s brown!

:—did I slap the angel
shit out of him ___did I joke

away another dark American
wrongness as preschool

play ___did I weep so that
the whole room would

let him hug my confusion
have I done any right thing



by god—how come everlasting ___whosoever
begot not destruction ___whosoever
believeth not in lost ___who faces and clings not

to the never-happen of loveth ___only god
trusts the world eternal so uniquely
only god so dearly and greatly gave up

on death ___not we who recognize the desert
darkness of some deeds ___not we who serpent
the evil sentence of faith ___which of us

shall refuse the wrong Heaven when exposed
and entered by a plain finger of living light
and how forever is a savior anyway ___for whosoever

returned not from forsaken ___whosoever
can offer up a body—something whole
and prized—without risking the answer: perish

–Geffrey Davis


Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist. He is also the recipient of a Cave Canem Fellowship, the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize. Davis teaches at the University of Arkansas.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →