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 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