Carol V. Davis is the author of Because I Cannot Leave This Body (Truman State Univ. Press, 2017), Between Storms (TSUP, 2012) and won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Her work has been read on Radio Russia, National Public Radio and at the Library of Congress. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, she teaches at Santa Monica College and Antioch Univ. Los Angeles and winter 2018 taught in Siberia.
Moving into someone else’s house is like occupying the body.
You recognize it as human but the clothes don’t quite fit.
The voice leaking from your throat croaks with words
you would never use.
This rust colored kitchen has horizontal windows
slightly larger than the slits in castle walls.
More like the eyebrows of metal filings we’d slash with a magic
wand onto Wooly Willy, that cartoon face from our childhoods.
You can tell this is not earthquake country.
Plates and bowls stack on an open shelf; various-sized glasses
huddle on a wire rack nudging one another;
school children bunched for a class photo.
I wander room to room, feeling for light switches.
Investigating this new body to see if I am just a squatter,
a dybbuk forcing her way in, waiting to fly out when the time is right.