Mikayla Davis

Not all Stories are Worth the Stars

My mother saw the sun take cover
behind the hotel vacancy sign
for the last time when I was fifteen.
Her breath climbed forward
from the black steel railing
into the winter air, looking every part
the milky way against the bruising
sky. Her cigarette flickered red
at the tip of her fingers, a satellite
pulsing in the night in time
with her failing lungs.

I want to tell her that I remember
the way her calloused hands
braided stories in the strands
of my tangled hair, that the gold
smoke stains dripping from our walls
were whispered lullabies
she wanted us to hear, but all I know
is her silence, like the echo
of moonlight on the snow,
a sort of comfort in the absence.

Mikayla Davis is a MFA candidate from the University of Central Arkansas, where she currently teaches Introduction to Creative Writing. She has a BA in English from Eastern Washington University and has poems published in Railtown Almanac, The Wire Harp, CandleLit, Gold Dust, and others.