Desafinado by Adam J. Davis

In a green field threatened by a swarm of bees or the hum of refrigeration and each time I close my eyes Tony Soprano is sitting before me, picking his nose. A woman in black and white puts her finger to her lips and shushes me silently. Brazil is closer now: Sao Paulo. Fortaleza. I read in the newspaper about a convicted felon who disappeared with a few million reais and then returned to his home town on a bus. How does a man vanish so completely? The field—flimsy weeds, an airstrip, the Cessna wobbling over dirt before lifting off like a cheap toy. No one saw anyone leave.

In the film she walks and walks and walks. Her dress is less or more, black or white. Three fat mariachis flick the strings of their guitars and sing and sweat through enormous pores. She picks a flower, and then another, only it is the same flower and she seems to be skipping like a scratched DVD. I cannot stop looking at her hands as they repeatedly clip the stem. This seems to go on for some time, and later I will wonder what else was happening in those lost moments: who poured a glass of water, who missed the last step and fell into wreckage, who picked up the telephone, who closed the eyes of the dead.


Adam J. Davis got his master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University, where he studied with Aaron Shurin and Myung Mi Kim. His poems have appeared in Coracle, Fourteen Hills, Ghoti Magazine, Spectrum, and Transfer.