Absence Lights

John Davis Jr.

Papa, those three bottles you left collect
white sunbeams in our kitchen windowsill:

Within the square blue one, morning reflects
like Boca Grande summer surf – the crashing kind
that stole your gold class ring, a sunken treasure.

The globe-necked green one transforms fall afternoons
into mountain memories: Algae-slicked trails
and gray rocks patterned by lichens’ ragged coats.

Winter evenings, the red one brings Christmas
early – the hue of our brick hearth overfilled
with long vacant stockings seeking plenty.

The bottles still sparkle too brightly, too empty
even for breeze to cross into oh and oh and oh.



John Davis Jr. is the author of Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other collections of poetry. His poems have appeared in venues such as Nashville Review, Tampa Review, One, The Common, and The American Journal of Poetry, among many others. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa and teaches college English courses in Florida.