The Mom Egg

Nicelle Davis

& Cheryl Gross

Copyright 2011, The Mom Egg

Poet Nicelle Davis lives in Southern California with her son J.J. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, SLAB Magazine, Two Review, and others. She’d like to acknowledge her poetry family at the University of California, Riverside and Antelope Valley Community College. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The Bees’ Knees Blog.


Artist Cheryl Gross has an MFA in New Forms from Pratt. She writes: "When asked about my work, I always equate it with creating an environment transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Much like an architect or urban planner, that reality and humor becomes the foundation of the work. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, a totally vertical and intense environment, I now live in Frenchtown, NJ. The rural countryside by contrast to the city is horizontal and peaceful."

Lunch with the Biologist

Nurture can only do so much. There are birds

who migrate the world plus some—others

who will be burned alive if their tree catches

fire. Some stay. Some can

’t avoid movement. Half done human embryos

resemble chickens. Do you still believe in rehab-

ilitation? If pricked, will you not stain this table

with the sins of your DNA?

Dreams Against Absence

I. First Night without my Son

I gather the scent of my husband like a bed-sheet made of mice. Awake, the smell of our family scurries out from cracks in the walls. I cry this warmth made of little heart beats—same as I cried for the empty womb once our child was born.

II. Second Night without my Son

My dreams are a mouse giving birth to a dozen pups. Blind and hairless, the rodents move slowly towards the scent of moonlight. Their bodies are open targets for crows, until the skull of the slaughtered pig opens its mouth and invites them safely in.

III. After Two Nights of Dreaming

At the foot of a tree, where the pig head was buried, I find a pile of gray feathers. The down floats towards me, as waves unfettered from the sea. A yellow beak the size of a diamond washes to shore. I push a thread through the breathing hole. Make a necklace of bones. At night I feel it roosting at my chest. I tell myself the wings were long swallowed, yet a palm-sized bird blinks against me.

Pigeon Says, “Beyond Our Genetics is Love”

Sparrows will peck crows to save their

chicks—but it requires chasing


listen to the music

of their wish.

No getting



going in. The

songs of birds released

from their predator’s crop is

a joy our hearts can ’t put words to.

Protect your son. He, like dreams, is you.

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