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Manoa 18.2 (2006) 98-99

Four Poems
Luke Davies


Come let's play mortals, Sugar Lee,
That fierce embrace. And all my fear
Of loss, of departure, will dissolve
In the light of your limbs. Come stay an hour,

Or less. And don't trust any technology,
And even the clocks are lying.
The only thing sure is the pleasure we'll know
When we're done with trying

To be polite, to suck all the juice from delay.
The only solution is abandon.
Come I don't care—come you be the pyre;
And I will be the burned one.


And the sun is everywhere
And the air is filled with pollen
And all the bees weighed down with light
Are golden where the leaves have fallen.

The sidewalk soft with petals.
The air is wet with blossom.
It was frankly hard to comprehend
How all your youth and grace, so lissome,

So supple, could gather in the one body.
The light comes through your hair
As if your hair were light and nothing but:
You shake it out, set fire to the air. [End Page 98]


Love is when green turns to silver
In the last light of day.
We barely knew each other then and yet
The frogs croaked that hypnotic lullabye

Until all noise was thunder, and the storm
Burst, and the wind lashed the jungle.
Had we released a thousand birds
No greater good fortune than this single

Evening could come. Next thing, bang!
Beneath a crescent moon shines Venus
On the horizon. After which clearly the very idea
Of fortune can hardly contain us.


All that there was was beauty and bluff;
Then a deeper thing grows.
In the coinage of rapture
I will pay you my praise.

You will tell me every story
As we drive; in your eyes
Whole forests will flicker past,
Whole skies, enormous mysteries…

That beauty can malfunction
Is a given. Love knows
Of all the beauties beyond this.
At every plateau, praise.

Luke Davies is the author of the novels Candy (Ballantine Books, 1998) and Isabelle the Navigator (Berkley Books, 2002) and four volumes of poetry, including Running with Light (Allen & Unwin, 1999) and Totem (Allen & Unwin, 2004), which won the Grace Leven Poetry Prize, the John Bray Award, the Age of Poetry Book of the Year, and the overall Age Book of the Year. He has published his short stories widely, and he coauthored the screenplay for the recently released Candy, a film adaptation of his novel.