Spring/Fall 2020

Black Sonnet: Saturn Devouring His Son

by Logan Davis

                   On Francisco Goya’s painting of the same name.

Can you propose a more appropriate
Response for Ops when she illuminates
Her husband, elbow-deep, in between chews?
     The muted slurping your abuse made before
Was punishment enough, she snarled. When gore
Remains unknown, blackness paints barbary
More wretched than reality. I thought
To see your sin could not be worse than what
My mind made matter, but pus in your paw
And mangled maw assault my waking dreams.
I ache again for sightlessness and screams.
Why choose you this?
                             He refused to repent:
Saturn, blubbering, bent, wide-eyed, white-haired,
Wept like a woman, God of gods I’m scared.

Black Sonnet: Judith and Holofernes

                  On Francisco Goya’s painting of the same name.

And, merit fate, the wine had overflown
Holofernes’ wrath; Judith’s blade shone
As, to the nurse, she confided her plan:
    I’ll slay this man by beheading him twice
If you’ll watch the door.
                                She leveled the knife
To equal her own head, and entered:
Who played your whore, might have stayed faithful if
You’d honed your lust.
                              Her first strike felled that stiff
Lower head. She scoffed:
Aside, that mass lay limp; all the less, he
Wouldn’t be aroused. Pulling his hair, she
Took aim at his higher head.
                                       Your king paid
You well; you said no man could stand against such
As the likes of you. You were right.
                                               She struck.

The crazy

Tell me about your mother.

And I am, just like that,
reminded I put myself here. Here I lie
across black leather red-eyed.
He, red-tongued lip-licker, prepares himself
for his favorite part. Tell me
about your mother. And I’m aware
of my breath because of his tools.

Like teeth his bonesaw clicks. Temples drip like juice
until dribbling and I am un-
hinged. Gray matter and red sauce
seasoned with sadness seasonally
he doesn’t mind the mess
the mind he messes with knives and

I let him. Carve and crave and seal me shut
and, tongue smacking, lips turned
down I know it wasn’t enough
for him. The knife he uses he slips under
my arms, the arms that learned to tie the noose,
and now the legs whose toes gripped the ledge
too loose. He takes them to himself and it’s better
because, just like that, it’s better

for him. One by one he unteeths me and keeps canines
and molars, like dinner mints, in a dish
to dissolve on his tongue. Before you turn them to dust,
he says. Before you grind them, before you munch them
to death. He bans bulimia by dragging his blade
along the base of my uvula; blood, blood swallowed in waves
and always more, always more though swallowed,
like fondue fountains at weddings, warm like chocolate:
I am a blood fondue fountain. He saws down
from throat to groin and my inner saints
shudder and my chest

opens up like two diner doors. Anorexia
is a killer he says. He takes the whole tract
checking every empty crevice, from colon
to esophagus, like one long, lumpy licorice
rope, steeped in Cymbalta, but empty,
empty save for blood; he saves it
for himself, for dessert. No. Dessert

comes now. No tools, no tears, no shame,
just wraps his filthy fingers
ungloved around that clutch of muscle; feels
it pulse and beat and beat him back.
His heel inside my kidney
is planted and
ilating barely breath-
ing can’t
even clench
my teeth just
tug and pull and
just like that he’s finally finished.

Propped up in this chair, I let him, I let him—
I let him cut me one last time just so
he can untongue me because it’s better this way
for him. Around my unnoosed neck he hangs
a sign: Fixed. See me
next week.

Logan Davis

Logan Davis was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1993, but spent his youth in Portland, Oregon. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry at Brigham Young University, where he also works as a graduate instructor.

Spring/Fall 2020