Noah Davis


Last night, the word nipple found
my mouth the same way humming
birds find lupine, and I was taken
by my beloved to where mules walk
the shore of a lake that breathes
green glass from churches at the bottom
of what fifty years ago was a valley.
I spoke to a mule in the timbre
of truck tires on cattle guards
and asked him to take back my words,
slick as river stone and rippled,
and keep them on the shore
away from my mouth, far
from drowning.

Noah Davis

is the author of Of This River, selected for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Emerging Poet Book Prize from Michigan State University’s Center for Poetry. He earned his MFA in poetry at Indiana University and has published in The Sun, Best New Poets, Orion, North American Review, Atlanta Review, and other journals. He has been a Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the recipient of the 2018 Jean Ritchie Appalachian Literature Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University.