Literature Poetry Raven Davis

Love Poems

Raven Davis

 

Love (1)

How can I set you free my love?

a kind of free your scalp

feels

when you take out your braids

each thick black strand of

kinked hair

dancing amongst wandering white birches

 

it seems like it’s taken you

a lifetime

to even begin to question

why you have never been

capable of loving like this before

 

Love (2)

I want to take out

the largest bank loan I can get

and go back to school

for something my parents forgot to teach me

this word

 

 

love

 

 

 

seems like the only thing you know

is how to spell it

and you fail at it

over and over and over again

 

I’d rather be in debt for the rest of my life

than be alone

my heart

banks

equity

refinancing

after each break-up

broke

and

broken

 

Love (3)

if we are to blame our

teachers for their poor instruction

 

when they taught us how to add or subtract

then

who do we blame when no one

has taught us about love?

When our parents have beaten

fear into us

only saying I love you while

the swelling in your face

held day’s-worth of water

 

 

offerings

from their

explosive

gentle

loving

fists

 

Love (4)

I want to love you like something

I need to learn

in a way that I’ve never

the kind of love that would keep

owls up during the day

and bears awake when

the snow has fallen

 

I want to starve the past

and release it from your body

burn it like

seasoned kindling

burying it deep into the

muddy clay of the earth

 

I want the headstone to say

this body has been released

 

plant lilies

where your crown lies

 

I would bring you sweet offerings

laying them on the earth

so your spirit could feast

with prayers

begging you

for forgiveness.

 

Resting

you will finally be

at peace

you will finally be

knowing love

you will finally be

 

Love (5)

I want to love you in the light

the hopeful

promising light

that brings joy

to others

as you

walk hand in hand with her

 

The intensity of love

only measured in

foot-candles

 

 

I want to set new

scientific records

of explanations about

this profound notion

of love

and loss

that scholars will

marvel over

1000 years from now

 

Love (6)

I want to

love you and

feed you mishkiki

medicine that will

make your heart bleed

red again

bursting like the

sweetness

of pregnant June berries

in the most vulnerable ways

that would make

even the devil cry

 

Love (7)

I want to love the parts of you

no one has loved before me

the ones your grandmother said

to bleach

 

 

I want to love the brownness

of your skin

and greet each new

summer freckle

like an old friend

I want to love you in ways

you’ve never thought possible

Like the feeling of going to your very first funeral

sinking in

and lasting for years

 

I want it

like death

to be a celebration

 

Love (8)

 

I want to love you more than

your mother did

at those moments

when you needed

to hear her reassuring voice

 

I want to love you more than

your father loves

 

40 proof

and more than his prized vintage car parts

deeper than the colour

of your mother’s chest

when he showered her with

pounding jealousy

 

Love (9)

 

I want to love you like I’ve been

sprung

for years

I swear we were meant to be

and yes

I will wait for you

not because I am a fan of

waiting

 

but

 

because I know

at some point

some day

you’ll come to me

lay with me

when you’re ready

I’ll be here

just like I’ve always been

waiting for you

to see the light

I see in you

 

Love (10)

 

I want to love you with

no plans or

pretense

no rules

free of harm

free to choose

free to forgive

free to make mistakes

free to cry

free to leave

 

I want to love you like this

and nothing less

 

there’s just one thing.

 

I  don’t know how.

 

Love (11)

 

dear self

these words I write for you

 

a testament of my love

tucked in

kept safe

the nesting cedars of my bundle

in sinew cross stitches

adorned in my pouch

in the river like veins

in my pipestone

 

In the fragile

hairline barbs

of my feathers

 

In the irregular

beats of my heart

 

dear self

 

I remain loyal

 

Raven Davis headshotRaven Davis is an Indigenous, mixed race, 2-Spirit multidisciplinary artist and activist from the Anishnawbe (Ojibwa) Nation, Treaty 4 in Manitoba. They were born and raised in Toronto and currently work between Halifax and their hometown. A parent of 3 sons, Raven’s work spans from painting, performance, traditional song/dance, design, poetry and short film. Raven blends narratives of colonization, race and gender justice, 2-Spirit identity and the Anishinaabemowin language and culture into traditional and contemporary art forms.

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