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About this poet

Geffrey Davis is the author of Night Angler, winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award and forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2019, and Revising the Storm (BOA Editions, 2014), which received the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His other honors include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Wabash Prize for Poetry, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Penn State's Institute for the Arts and Humanities. He teaches at the University of Arkansas and The Rainier Writing Workshop and lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

What Make a Man

what kind of wound make a man
set his favorite rooster loose

             on a dying hen    what make the man

snap the neck of that twice-broken bird
before his child’s eyes    what make him see

             the bad idea after the fact—what open him

like a storm    what make a man refuse
to ask forgiveness    what make him offer

             the sudden softness of his voice instead

what get the man loaded    what make him choose
to carry the small brightness of his child’s body

             through the cold sleeping city    —no—

what make a man decide to drift the roads anyway
so his child stay warm in the front seat

             what make him park the car two blocks away—

what arms filled and humming you are my sun-
shine each dark step of the way home

From Night Angler. Copyright © 2018 by Geffrey Davis. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions.

From Night Angler. Copyright © 2018 by Geffrey Davis. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions.

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis is the author of Night Angler, winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award and forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2019. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

by this poet

poem

For

who hands o-
ver their on-
ly begot-

ten any-
thing to this
white-teethed world

if god so
loved      I nev-
er knew him

poem

           And it came to pass, […] there appeared a chariot of fire
           and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah
          
went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it,
           and he cried, My father, my

2
poem

Dear Boy: Be the muscle,
make music to the bone—risk

that mercurial measure
of contact. There are those

who touch a body and leave it
graceful:      be that kind

of wonder in the dark.      And if I ever
catch you confusing

a pulse for a path      or a bridge
to beat