Fall 2022, Volume 33

Poetry by Carol V. Davis

Seeing the Face of a Hyena on the Cutting Board

I do not believe in UFOs or crystals (if that helps) but once, living 5700 miles away in Russia, I thought my Los Angeles cat was curled on my bed. (It was a black cardigan.) A friend is taking a class on angels. She is a rational person. Does she believe in miracles? A Chassid was ordered by Nazis to jump over a pit. If he made it over the bodies, he would live. He remembers the leap, grabbing onto the coattails of his father, grandfather, great grandfather. So when I turned from the kitchen counter, pivoted back and the face was still there, I knew it was real. That black snout. Ears the shape of philodendron rugosum leaves. It did not laugh. It did not need to, to convince me. Later I found traces of fur everywhere.




BIO: Carol V. Davis is the author of Because I Cannot Leave This Body (Truman State Univ. Press, 2017) and Between Storms (TSUP, 2012). She won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg. Her first book, It’s Time to Talk About…, was published in an English/Russian edition by Symposium, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1997. Her poetry has been read on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress and Radio Russia. Twice a Fulbright scholar in Russia, she also taught in Siberia, winter 2018 and teaches at Santa Monica College, California and Antioch Univ. Los Angeles. She was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant for Siberia in 2020, postponed because of Covid restrictions and again now.