This Side of Beautiful

tonight’s moon 

on a snowy evening

a crow settles into

a chestnut branch. 

by torchlight i walk

torchlight from 

the white flower

in the sky.


the crane is next.

it stands in the 

spring rains and

it watches me pass. 

again i walk by


this time from a 

bright burning flower. 


there is a bluebird 

on the side of the road.

it is summer now. 

everything melts under

the heat of the blazing sun. 

comfort is found only

in the shade of

fluffy white leaves.


i think about her

as the leaves turn.

my bones are weathered

from the wind of autumn

and i enjoy the sound

of a robin, a good fellow. 

a whole year has passed

and i am not dead yet. 




Blossoms of clouds decorate the sky

The nightingale sings a midday tune

I stand knee high in clear water

That quickly begins turning maroon


I’ve had this nightmare before

Of hands touching every inch of me

A sky darkening, a summer ending

I cry but it just won’t let me be


When I wake up, tears on my cheeks

I struggle to breathe right again

I want to erase every part of myself

That you put your hands on when


I went to visit you in the heart of fall

The date burned into my mind 

Why can’t you leave me alone?
Why couldn’t you have been kind?


The dream of summer ending

Despite it happening in the fall

They say it’s almost poetic

But it’s not, it’s not at all


My Mother Asked Me to Write a Poem About Her

My mother asked me to write a poem about her

and the first thing that came to mind

was the family club she introduced me to. 


Her mother was married when she was only sixteen.

She was never given the chance to be 

a kid. 

She grew up fast, and she grew up twisted.

She was kind but strict

and you never strayed from what she wanted.

If she demanded the sun from the sky

you were expected to burn your fingers raw

fetching it for her. 

If she feels she has been wronged, 

then she has been wronged, and there is 

no apology you can give her 

to ease the burden you have forced her to carry. 


She is twisted, but she is kind. 

My mother, who was afraid to live so far from home, 

was welcomed back every weekend

with open arms and proud smiles.

She tells me she loves me every night before I go to bed

and she never once stopped loving me

because of who I loved. She tells my mother how proud

she is. Because she is truly proud. 


My mother had a hard life full of sickness.

She was told she could never have children but

I came along. Her miracle baby. 

She expected me to be great because I was a gift. 

But I am not great. 

I am not extraordinary.
I am not going to change the world. 

In fact, I am an average person with an average dream. 


My mother was not someone I wanted to disappoint. 

She had sacrificed so much for me, but no matter how hard I tried,

I could not live up to her expectations

of what her child should be. If she asked me to 

fetch her the sun at the risk of burning my fingers raw
you better damn believe I refused. 


It is not her fault. 

It is not her mother’s fault.

It is not my fault.

We all belong to same club

and we all can’t seem to find a way out as much as we wish we could.


I decided to write her a different poem than this.

I am older now but the fear of disappointing her

is something I don’t think I will ever

be able to rid myself of. 



Dreams Die in the Fall

A bee staggers out of a flower

drunk on the nothingness

it had to offer. 

The flower smelled something like you,

like a summer night spent

counting the stars in the sky

and naming them after each other. 

When I looked at the flower in full bloom

I saw you smiling back at me. 


And when I heard the splash of water,

of a frog diving head first into 

its lovers arms,

I was reminded of your laugh. 

I walked that pond’s edge,

circled it countless times over,

until I was satisfied that you were not here. 


The harvest moon hung in the sky.

Fall was approaching and with it

bitter winds and things that die.

I lay awake at night and dream of your lips,

how intoxicating they were to kiss. 

But I only dream of them during the fall

because it is the only time dreams are allowed

to die. 



Comparing Myself to Frankenstein’s Monster


although it may only be an

accumulation of anguish

is dear to me

and I will defend it.”


I tattooed those words 

across my heart

because they were spoken by a monster. 


Those words are something 

I will hold on to 

until my body’s last sigh 

leaves my parted lips

because they were spoken by a monster.


Sometimes I wish I had 

read them sooner in my lifetime

and perhaps I would not have

the scars I do now. Those words

were spoken by a monster


but I have never felt more understood.
The monster and I, we share the same pains,

and the monster and I, we live with darkness

in our head. But the monster and I


we want to keep living

we want to keep pushing on


because life is dear to us

and people are dear to us.


My life was painful and filled

with things I wish never happened

and people I wish I never met. 

But my life is beautiful in its own way

and my life is dear to me

so I will defend it against myself. 


Biographical Note: Hiley Davis is a sophomore at Salem College majoring in Education and Creative Writing. They were born in North Carolina and have enjoyed writing ever since they learned how to. They were published in an anthology celebrating the city of Charlotte late October 2021 and is honored to be published again in Outrageous Fortune. After college, they plan on attending graduate school for playwriting and hope to teach it one day. They would like to dedicate this collection of poems to one of their best friends, Angelica Alvarez Orlachia, for her continued support both in writing and outside of it.