At the art college
she holds one pose like a parrot
then another for ten minutes,
the seconds ticking. Charcoal
swishes on sketchbooks.
One freshman boy stares at
her budded-up nipples. He thinks
about it. All of them think
about it. Red pubic hair.
Slight smile. Slight twinkle.
She juts her chin.
They sketch and think about it.
They carry her curves and lobes
in their half-lives—their backpacks,
open the pages of her legs and breasts
in their dorm rooms, but it’s her
tight shoulders I rub at night.
The money’s good
she tells me. With my elbow
I grind out her knots
before my fingers
on her skin.
John Davis is the author of Gigs and The Reservist. His work has appeared recently in DMQ Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, One, and Rio Grande Review. He moonlights in blues bands.
Art: "Cellular" by Sandy Coomer - 12X18, acrylic pour on wood panel
Statement: I thought of skin when I chose this piece, down to a cellular level - the way we are contained by it, the way it covers the body, the way blood is just underneath.