Austin Davis was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and now lives in Mesa, Arizona where he is studying creative writing at ASU. He is the author of Lotus & The Apocalypse, a poetry novella out now from Outcast Press. Austin performs his poems all over the country and teaches classes for teens and young adults in using poetry as a tool for bettering mental health.
Austin is the founder of AZ Hugs for the Houseless, Arizona Jews for Justice’s homeless outreach program.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Austin, what poems have you brought for us today?
LOTUS & THE METEORS
i don’t think
some real trauma
from the neighborhood
all that’s left
is a brick patio
with lawn chairs
a little moss
with teddy bear drapes
pulled across the windows
posted up on mars
the tv is still on
the dog is peeing
all over the carpet
& i’m sorry
but i left the stove on
LOTUS & LOSS
If you point your telescope up on this clear summer night,
you might be able to spot Lotus.
He’s probably too small to see from your backyard,
but hey, you could tell your kids that any one of those airplanes
could be him, falling back to Earth.
Right about now, Lotus is swimming through nothingness,
like he has been for longer than he knows.
Back in the rocket on Mars, Lotus’ captain is smoking his 4th cigarette
and banging his fist against the table over and over again.
The crew is shuffling away to the edge of the little kitchen
as their coffee mugs bounce up and down.
On Earth, mission control is in a code red.
Every telescope from NY to LA is focused on
finding their stick of hay in a pile of needles.
Unfortunately for NASA, a little college newspaper caught word about Lotus.
Within an hour, every news station in the country
was talking about this poor boy from Prairie Creek on their evening broadcast.
Every kid with a pair of binoculars is straining out their window
right about now, scanning the sky until bedtime.
When you’re hurtling through space slower than Mrs. Huckles
rides her electric scooter through the supermarket, you have a lot to think about.
For a while, Lotus screamed. He screamed and screamed,
flailing about for God knows how long.
Lotus thought of his mother giving him a hug on Thanksgiving,
drinking beer with his friends on the roof,
the children and wife he never met.
Lotus cried. He cried so long the blackness began to look like a cape
he thought he might be able to grab in his hands
and pull away to unveil autumn in his little town,
where everything would be okay again.
Lotus thought about movie theaters,
wind chimes, school buses and making love.
He thought about being a kid and spending his summers
trying to touch the bottom of Wilson’s lake
but never having enough breath.
He thought about biting into a peach, falling off a bike,
being so tired you pass out on the couch with the TV still on,
and how bodies don’t decompose in space.
Lotus will be 21 years, 4 months, and 18 days old until the sun explodes.
He couldn’t wipe his eyes in his space suit and helmet,
so the tears dried on his cheeks.
Maybe Lotus would be found by a time traveling orangutan
or a teenage alien who ran away from their planet
in the angstiest possible way.
Or maybe he wouldn’t be found.
Maybe that would be just as well.
Lotus closed his eyes and saw nothing
but the color of wind.
You've been listening to the poetry of Austin Davis on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.