The 2River View 28.1 (Fall 2023)

William Virgil Davis


Think of the wind or breath beating like blood.

We were in a small boat not far from shore. The sea was a green eraser
wiping the sand with a smoothing hand.

Your hair blew over your face and stuck in strings. You laughed as you
pulled it free and took my hat to put it in, to hold it in place.

The sky smudged. As we watched, the hills on the distant island
began to fade into the darkened light.

Sea birds circled slowly over the water. Circled, then settled
suddenly to the beach.

A True Story

            She likes to walk naked at night. I’ve seen her often and told people about her, but they never believe me. You would think people would believe this sort of thing, even if it were not true. Actually, I’ll bet some people resist believing such things because they know they are true. I can tell by the way they look at me, by their eyes, which bunch up a bit and sort of squint, or by the way they grin and sometimes blush and turn their heads to one side. Especially women. They lower their eyes when you tell them such things, just as they do when they tell you a secret—so you will know it is supposed to be a secret by their way of saying it.
            Anyhow, this woman walks naked almost every night. I do not say she is beautiful, but just the same I love her for doing it.
            I have told you this because I know you will not believe it.


William Virgil Davis is the author, most recently, of Dismantlements of Silence: Poems Selected and New. One Way to Reconstruct the Scene won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. His poetry has been published worldwide.
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