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END SCENE by Ashley Davis


wissahickon creek water

holds the heat of 3 black femmes

wading against a downstream current

femme one, long legged stretched

a bush of tight curls wind

from sides of black underwear

femme two, unbuttons overall straps

slides with lace thong over moss rocks

femme three, tucks tampon string

between dark brown pussy lips

pulls an old dress over shoulders

lays old dress across slippery stone

bends back into creek water

cold shrinks dark brown nipples

across ribbed chest

current creeps up by the neck

strained to keep above water

maybe to keep face in sun

maybe to stay stimulated by green jungle trees

blocking city streets

maybe not willing to miss a laughter

definitely not willing to miss a laughter

definitely to keep hair from getting wet

especially black femme two

who weakened arm muscle

to spiral kinks parted down the middle

of a tender headed scalp

definitely to keep hair from getting wet

black femmes with their head above water

to keep an eye on the world

keep an eye on the man sitting some feet away

close enough for facial features

far enough to talk regular and not be heard

we can appreciate this man

who lets us be while he’s perched on a rock

honey bourbon backwood smoke twirling between his fingers

and we get it. all us black folks want

to get away from the world

without needing to leave the world

all the femmes still keep their head above water


still wearing creek water panties

femme one crawls into twin bed

beside femme three

digs chin into neck

giggle apologies for sweat above lip

peels sports bra over pink fade of curls

femme three wraps self into long legs

breathes into folded fingers

across peach fuzz of naked lower back

and the sun just touched the morning

perfect lighting through the single window

everything looks soft in the room

everything issoft in the room and breathing

….my grandma taught me her third lesson in healing

understanding that a black womxn has a home

with walls made of other black womxn


ASHLEY DAVIS is a black queer femme womxn (she/they) artist, poet, human. Born in California, currently based in Philly with her Grandmother and Great Grandmother. Ashley has upcoming work being published in the anthology 'A Garden Of Black Joy: Global Poetry From The Edges Of Liberation & Living'(2019), and work currently published in WusGood. Ashley has done workshops with youth and teaching artists, has spoken on panels at universities and at AWP (2019), and collaborates with community artists to make space for black queer artists to thrive. Ashley was part of 2017 Voices of Our Nation (VONA) cohort facilitated by Patricia Smith, was a member of the 'House Slam' slam team in 2016 where the team placed 3rd at the National Poetry Slam Competition (NPS) and where Ashley was a 2nd place finalist at the National Underground Poetry Slam Competition (NUPIC). Find Ashley on instagram @ashleydavis_art twitter @ashleydavisart


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