As a child, I carried a bag of sunflower seeds
Enchanted by the hope of petting a bird’s beak.
The only time I saw a hummingbird in the wild,
I stared out my window and watched it flutter backwards.
A high school friend with a bullet in her head
Forced my face to the window,
And there I stood, years later,
Eavesdropping on an emerald crested bird.
I etch these memories into wet concrete,
Wait for the sun to force them into the earth:
The expanse of the bird’s wings,
The reprieve replacing dried tears,
The sound of my friend’s laughter
Morphs into the
Grape juice spills on my white shirt
Made my classmates in third grade giggle.
I wish I could cradle memories like keepsakes
Clasp them into the heart shaped locket I wore as a child.
Instead, I find myself once again flying backwards
In the choreographed movements of the hummingbird.
You hop over the stone wall lining a grassy hill
Holding a pizza box and a large blanket.
We spread ourselves across the terrain
impermanently marking our moment
As the sun slips through the clouds
The green grass
The tree dotted hills
Turns gentle by its golden hues.
You notice a dark cloud looming over us
You think it’s going to rain I ask
The question lingers in the thin mountain air
cutting through the quiet of the green grassy hill,
slicing through the city lights sitting in the distance,
roaming across the endless epiphany of the ocean.
Last night I dreamed you no longer cared for me,
that we had to plan our silences,
withdraw our kisses.
I pretended to be okay.
Now on the top of the world I can finally tell you the truth.
I can finally see the moon from here, fluttering in your hair.
I can’t see the stars, but I can hear them whisper:
It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay
You reverberate their song with a sigh.
You park your Honda Civic under a cluster of blue marble trees
Only a few feet from the one-way canopy road turned highway –
Here’s a spot none of the fourth level locals know about.
You take my hand as we walk across the algae pressed stones
Avoiding mud encrusted embankments and fallen fruits –
Coconuts in convoluted streams
Strawberry guava spotted puddles to arrive
Where water gathers
A viridescent pool steered by the ever-rapid rain.
The waters cold,
Numbing, you say
To me, soothing in the storm.
Green water to match your board shorts,
green water to match my eyes.
We swim to edge of the brook
Watch the next spill of
water over rocks. You turn to me and smile.
It’s like showing someone my favorite song, you say.
it’s like showing my favorite person my favorite song,
But the song is better than a song.
And your past – our past – is here
transcribed in the stones,
in the algae,
in the coconuts.
Dancing in the green swirls of the water:
Your grandma tilling the sugarcane
Setting the field ablaze to burn the crop’s leafy stalks
Hotels replace your people’s homes
Second and third estates
Stripped from fourth and fifth generations
And we can – can we –
Reconcile personal and historical?
Listen to the steady melody of rain on rocks?
Let our love pour down the mountain,
flow and follow through the creek?
Can you and I take a moment,
without invading the air?
Love conquers all but love
Can’t dismantle these rocks
Uneven the waters
Only sit here
Bake in the rain and sun and swirls.
Biographical Note: Anna Kate Daunt is a junior English and Theatre major at Davidson College. Her poetry has previously appeared in The Allegheny Review, Vita Brevis Press, and Cathartic Literary Magazine. Furthermore, she has won the Vereen Bell Prize and Exit 30 prize for her writing. After graduating from Davidson, she intends to continue her study of English at the graduate level.