This Side of Beautiful
on a snowy evening
a crow settles into
a chestnut branch.
by torchlight i walk
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
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
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.