Poetry: Selections from David Blake


After our first kiss you asked for another
like when you were young and the scars on your knee weren’t lessons
but stories to astound your friends as you try and comprehend
how cool you can be when you jump off your roof and onto your brother’s trampoline.
Now you won’t go to bed without asking for another
until your lips are sore and stained by mine,
a quiet contentment that whispers warnings and
begs you not disregard me when I say you could do better.
I envy how you look at my reflection with awe while we get dressed,
as if its laugh isn’t sovereign and separate.
How you analyze every detail through lips
to remember the eccentricity of every bump
in a body I can recognize but choose to look away
because it’s easier to forget the mole on my chin when I can’t see it.
You once said there are few things more beautiful than sunflowers
so I spent all night decorating our room with them
only to have you replace them with pictures of me and
we laughed about our room becoming your garden
as you watered them with adulation so intently that
I don’t think their smiles could ever die.
And you’re the Peoplemover we rode at Disneyworld
that blissfully progressed us forward
as you pointed out every pivot with admiration,
not slowing to dwell on the details I grew to leave behind and
only to focus on the love I learned to speak
instead of avoiding photographs and expectations
because you showed me so much love I learned to love myself.

God in my backyard

The sunflower on my window seal,
shaded by rejection from the sunlight,
asks me what’s more beautiful:
the universe I created,
or the one I’m told was created for me?
Like Rutherford working in reverse
you weave together each atom delicately
to create things you can’t control.
You, the sycamore in my backyard that leans against the wind,
roots anchored beneath the walls of my house.
I only know what you think about me from what you told the azaleas.
Your branches scratch at my windows as I draw the curtains and
stretch what it means to forget.
The camellias say your grace keeps them alive,
but your branches bear no fruit for me to eat.
So I romanticize a universe without you
where the begonias do not live in your shade,
and the sunlight squirms between branches
and illuminates the dust
as I lay in the hydrangeas
placed amongst the stars
and then life becomes this improbable accident
like a sycamore shifting stance
or neon pink sign of no vacancy
that hangs above my house each night as I sleep
in my unmade bed of no worries
as your branches symphonize against the windows
begging to tuck me in.


Chin to the ground
our eyes peer through the atomic emerald forest;
analyzing the earwigs as they scurry between the blades.
We turn to the sunlight between the leaves of the oak,
illuminating a strand of blacktop that peaks between the branches.
A hummingbird hovers just above, contemplating its next direction.
The skyline is a gray mixture of smog and industry.
Torn apart by the fury of the sun.
We look onward toward an empty lot of endless possibility.
I see the sun revolve around the Earth.
Too scared to make a move
for fear of starting over.
The stars celebrate a victory every morning.
The battle has been won
but our war rages on.
My skin itches on the grass
irritated by what lies within.
Five fingers slowly raised and lowered
to be laced within mine.
An apparition of honesty
slows down time to bring me in

David Blake is an educator, administrative director, and poet from San Bernardino, CA. Soon to be published in DREICH Magazine, David is a writer who strives to improve his craft through avid participation in local writing groups within the Inland Empire. His poetry centers around self-understanding through ruminating on the struggles one faces by living with mental illnesses. Outside of writing, David travels, spends time in nature, and creates music with his band Good Will, Get Better.