On a Given Day

Peter Davis


On a good day, she gardens.
I don’t know what she plants, but she digs in the dirt and gets
an insect bite. She comes in, wiping her face with a bandanna.
I believe there are ice cubes in her glass.
On a good day, she sorts the bills and talks on the phone. She
is very cheerful when she receives the mail. She thanks the mailman.
On a good day, she takes her time at the store, shopping for
razors to shave her legs. She likes her legs.
On a medium day, she has a feeling when she reads the newspaper
that is a little like envy, but is also like greatness. There is also
a sense of futility. It is a stinging sensation and she
doesn’t like it.
On a medium day, she laughs with her kids. She gets a haircut.
When she is writing poetry, on a medium day, she is writing with
a sense that she is really great. She thinks to herself, Fuck, I’m good.
These are delusions of grandeur. She is self-centered.
Her delusions are true. If only she believed the truth.
On a bad day, she’s frantic. She’s pissed. She wants the cars to drive
faster. She is not happy with the dirt inside her head. She imagines
removing her brain with a giant ice cream scooper. It is not okay
to be stupid, she says.
But on a good day, she’s okay with things. I’m not stupid
she says with a laugh. Ha, ha, ha, who’s laughing now?
But on a medium day, she is not eating cookies.
On a bad day, she’s got her head in the oven.


Peter Davis’ books of poetry are Hitler’s Mustache, Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! and TINA. He live in Muncie, Indiana and teaches at Ball State University. More info at artisnecessary.com.