2 poems

by Ash Davida Jane

Ash Davida Jane is a poet & bookseller from Aotearoa. Her work has been in Starling, Mimicry, Sweet Mammalian, Sport, Food Court, Mayhem, and -Ology. Her first book was published in 2016 by Platypus Press.

love poem with aphids

every morning I am thankful that you are not

                                                 hundreds of bees swarming

            in the form of a person

                        hovering outside by the back door

your body buzzing so loudly

                                    I can’t even ask your name

you slowly lift your arm to wave goodbye

                                    as I draw the curtains in the evening

imagine trying to hold hands on the bus

                                                like how two people are never really touching

because of the invisible force between their atoms

                        except we could never even almost touch

because you are an anthropomorphic swarm of bees

                        I’d plant lavender and marigolds in the backyard

leave all the windows open and spend July sick in bed

            carry around bottles of sugar-syrup in case you get tired

                                                every morning

                                                                        I am thankful the extinction event

didn’t hit overnight

                                    and we can turn off the alarm and steal

five minutes unfurling

                                    next to each other in the cold morning sunlight

pale yellow and too much                   for new-day eyes

            open the curtains and wait

                                                            for the blackbirds to arrive in the trees

                        I spend hours

picking aphids individually off a houseplant

                                                its stems dressed unfashionably

in their bright green fur

                                    the atoms that make up my fingers

almost brushing against

                                                                        the atoms of their tiny bodies

but never quite touching

bat secrets

i find it hard to believe that everybody else

has just as many thoughts about themselves

as i do about myself

how would anything ever get done

do you love me even when i am not

dreaming of rescuing ducklings

i am not unlike the dog on the beach

digging a very important hole

while the sun stays high in the sky

held up by a garter

what would Gertrude think of me

with my poor art collection

and mostly-complete sentences

what will i think about when i’m 83

scientists are desperately studying bats

to figure out how they live so long for their size

hoping to adopt their skincare and diet regime

so we too can enjoy an extended lifespan

but i want only the exact amount of time i have

anything more seems like a waste of limited resources

(such as clean underwear)