Build to Suit
Pamela Davis
Seven trees leveled so far, the tree cutter braces his legs, chainsaw shaking
the length of him. Its shriek reminds me of rending—mutiny,
divorce. Muscle torn from bone.

The blade bullies into the heart of a rare Monterey Pine, limbs reaching
for the sky. Another branch shears off with a rush
of woody breath. Resin rises, meets the gash.

What's wrong with the trees? I shout over the roar.

The cutter stops the saw. Yanks at his headset. Are they sick, the trees?
He shrugs, returns to work. The pine drops like a man
shot in the back.
Pamela Davis is a California poet with recent work appearing in Prairie Schooner, Painted Bride Quarterly, Existere Journal of Literature and Art (Canada), Natural Bridge, Sou'Wester, Stand (UK), Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Zone 3. A recipient of Atlanta Review's International Poetry Prize, Davis has also been published in Nimrod as a semi-finalist for the Neruda Award, in Southern Poetry Review's special Poets of the West and West Coast issue, as well as in CALYX, Folio, Jabberwock Review, New Ohio Review, Southern Humanities Review and other literary journals. In addition to freelance editing and writing, she has a first book of poetry making the rounds. Her first summer job was working as a go-fer at her father's mortuary.

more by Pamela Davis:
Your Chair
Birds Caught in Windows
Hotel Room