our selves less self
than a knowledge

of time. time:
our shell, our salt,

our singing wings.
our wings like flakes

of mica, pining.
the land

tears its skin open
to free us,

& again, to lay us
down to rest.

systole. diastole. in all
directions: imminence;

the land emitting
a smell like love.

in the flash
between beats—

the still
of wholeness. summer,

we ate
& fucked & ate.

day a unit
to measure want.

want inseparable
from need.

deathless, we bury:
our bodies’ present;

our bodies’ future
wearing the shell

of another body.
the land names us

synapse, & we are
memory, waiting

to crack
its borders.

there is no border.

Copyright © 2022 by Marissa Davis​​. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.