-Original works of poetry by D’Ana Joi-


Where the Water Settled

I took my body out walking

the morning after a rainday

looking for the places where

the water had settled:

Wet sheet of truckbed

Spoon cusp of leaf

vacant flower pot

bowl beneath the treeswing

I returned as you were waking,

ready to share what I had found, but when

you looked at me I could not speak of

the storm

behind your eyes.




You wore a sweater

with buttons dangling

from frayed threads.

Your hands, careless,

forced through worn fabric

as they wondered:


What’s the use of hanging on?

I watched one break free

the night we arm wrestled

on the kitchen counter.

It fell into its fate,

in the corner next to

a huffing refrigerator.

Every morning

as I stand and spoon oats

into my mouth,

I watch the button—

the lint it now carries,

its bed of dust—

in fear you won’t notice

when I am gone



There is ceremony

in the lighting of

a naked wick.


language is heat.

The introduction of flame,

an agreement to live

by dancing with the unseen

on a pillar of sweaty wax.




I am here


Trailing behind the breath

like smoke

lifted from an absent flame.

Sounds beg explanation,

the day’s etchings arrive.

Carpet under thigh

reminds me to

buy floor pillows

live somewhere else

call my aunt—


the breath

and a voice:

“The outcome is inward.”

Tasteless and palpable,

savor the epiphany

until it dissipates.

Eyes scan the inner.

Again the breath,