Carol V. Davis
Carol V. Davis is the author of Below Zero, Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2023, Because I Cannot Leave This Body (Truman State Univ. Press, 2017) and Between Storms (TSUP, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Her poetry has been read on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress and Radio Russia. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, she taught in Siberia, winter 2018 and teaches at Santa Monica College, California and Antioch Univ. LosAngeles. She was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant for Siberia in 2020, postponed because of Covid restrictions and now cancelled.

An Answer for Everything

Only my 2nd time in Siberia, so I cannot
say the -18 today is usual or not.
All around people walk to buy groceries
or wait for the morning tram.

Sidewalks not brushed clean these past
8 days, the official new year’s holiday.
A sheen of ice slicks the walkways
like a child’s face in need of scrubbing.

I have been thinking about string theory.
How to explain the universe, yes
the pull of gravity, but its opposite too,
an electromagnetic force attracting then repelling.

If only the world were so easily explained:
Last year’s rains in California,
followed by an explosion of new
growth in the forests.

We marveled at the green stubble
on the hills of the Sepulveda Pass,
usually parched a dull brown.
Reassured ourselves the drought was over.

But summer fires more ferocious than
ever tore through cities usually inured,
then intensified in late fall, persisting
even into winter months.

Now it is a new year.
16 hours into the future,
on the other side of the world, I gaze into
the darkness of a Siberian morning,

my phone clicking with photos of home,
where rain is unleashing hillsides.
Long parched, the earth gives way
pulling down houses and everything in its path.

 2023 Carol V. Davis
Carol V. Davis was a Featured Poet at the month 2023 Second Sunday Poetry Series