For Lydia and Daniel
They met because they sang. They heard
one another sing.
What did she hear when she heard his voice?
What did he hear, listening to hers?
What wild timbre, what vibrato
Any voice is an exhalation
of wing-beaten air, a breath
blown through laryngeal folds
we learn to control so that we can speak.
Singers refine that control beyond articulation
to shape invisible air
into the glorious colors, the resonant pitches
the modulated reverberations of song.
But even music is but one phase
in the spectrum of vibrations
and when two lovers hear the mysterious signal,
the harmonic of permission,
of revelation, of opening,
their vibrations enter a new phase,
become visible, an auric penumbra,
a light when their eyes meet.
This emergent radiance hovers about them,
diffuse at first, then resonates into a coherence,
a flame that did not exist
before they met, burning in both and yet
a third thing with its own glow.
It hovers over them, a luminous cloud leading the lost
through the wilderness, a lodestar.
Having met through song,
having explored the epochal harmonies
that awoke in each and both of them,
now they duet in one complex voice.
Now they choir.
Stones falling through the dark sky
catch fire the Perseids
the summer I had left
your mom and wondered
as I lay there on the beach
looking up what augury
glowed in those high flames
random as fireflies
courting with flashes in the night
wondered, too, what
imagination she had
of where she stood just then
mother abandoned wife
if she was lost
too like me
watching wherever she was
these falling stars decay.
colored as the
liliacs says, ah,
rampant stands beside
the jack pine,
in the same
on the rock‘s face.
& the male
leaps among the red
as they emerge
but red, red
again they turn
into November air.
Jeff Davis’ poems have appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, the Nantahala Review, Kakalak, Iodine, the anthologies In the Belly of the Beast and Far From the Centers of Ambition, and other print and online journals. His Natures: Selected Poems, 1972 – 2005 appeared in 2006.
He has hosted the radio program Wordplay, which features poets and writers of creative prose, since 2005; it’s now broadcast via AshevilleFM.org and WSFM, 103.3 on the FM radio dial in the Asheville area. The program has featured readings by and interviews with Robert Bly, Robert Creeley, Charles Frazier, Thomas Rain Crowe, Jessica Jacobs, Nickole Brown, Lee Ann Brown, Katherine Stripling Byer, Michael Hettich, and many other writers during its fifteen-year run.