Olena Kalytiak Davis: “Sight Unseen”

This month, we have been featuring Pushcart Prize-nominated work from recent issues of Poetry Northwest, accompanied by photographs from the Poetry Northwest Instagram feed. This week: a poem from Olena Kalytiak Davis, one of our nominees for the 2014 Pushcart anthology.

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Sight Unseen

you are. but see(n) in me? you?
gulled by blonde confusion? know(n):
i’m a pretty face with just one pretty eye.
my self-worth what? its weight in storm.

too soon the moon was high and full
a “beautiful and serious” boy from “the tower” went
and i by old ghosts and ugly witches sent to bring you—
what? a self of heavy sinew and unrectored chaos made?

‘come here!” you innocently (it is a fairy tale) said
and licked those lips all mortal women like (to kiss), no, love–

i(t) skipped a beat, or two, i(t) tripped some steps
listened to a lot of songs, read a short story, ran a mile, seven, twenty,
smoked a cigarette a joint a pipe a pack vermont new york seattle bac—
a prestidigitation of the heart. what? i(t) turned around and came—

fleet, her winged feet,
black, the color of her true love’s hair.

Photo on 2013-06-07 at 00.36 #5Olena Kalytiak Davis‘s third full-length collection, The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems, will be out from Copper Canyon Press in 2014.

“Sight Unseen” appeared first in the Spring & Summer 2013 issue of Poetry Northwest.