Changing Ground

Changing Ground

Changing Ground

By Amy Elisabeth Davis

Cliffs of monzogranite exfoliate,
           shed sheets of rock
           that fracture, become
           (eventually) the packed sediment
of flat ground and arid washes.       At this edge

of the world, wind imports alien grasses
            and the car exhaust
that feeds them. Seeds drop
            between heaps of magma
            extruded when the earth’s mantle
still wept here.
Green squeezes between rocks,
           seats and benches tossed randomly
           by the tremors of the shifting planet.

It gets harder
to scramble to when this land
ran lush with flora and megafauna,
mammoths and giant sloths,
huge forebears of the tiny
hole diggers who hide
           from sun in tunnels
beneath the crust we shake
                                         with     each     slow     step.

                                                              At the edge,
lizards climb picnic tables poured of concrete,
the lava of Los Angeles. The air becomes ocean,
the sounds of waves and wilderness.

Turned by heat
            and drought to summer

tinder, weeds change
the botany of this strange
topography, make it the edge of a world

we cannot reclaim
            from missing rain
                       and warming air.

Amy Elisabeth Davis

Amy Elisabeth Davis is a poet and historian who has taught at Purdue and UCLA. She studies the politics of public policy and has poems appearing in Tar River Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, Levure littéraire, Women’s Studies—an interdisciplinary journal, Spillway, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review 2016.

Featured image courtesy, Amy Elisabeth Davis