CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Exile
Ashley David








The Constructive Phase

Before it begins, we take
everything that moves. Leave

remains for the dogs. Once
it begins, we take over chants and prayers. Lovely

scripts. We rip the head off
the horrible beast and fail to lose faith. Anchored

in planes beyond tangible dimension, unbranded
animals range beyond shame. Nonetheless fettered

by reflection. No shield in sight. A heavy wet.





My family’s involvement with the Americas began before the Revolutionary War, when Louis XIV repealed the Edict of Nantes.





Born behind Myself

I wish someone would diagnose me, run
trials and fill me full of pills. Tap
the longleaf yellow pine. Neither mystery
nor memory, but turpentine. A match
for the chiggers. I was born an old woman
the size of a button.





At Normandy, my father’s father would have been near home were it not for religion and would have been home were it not for war. The metal box he carried travels with me now.





Pedal Steel

if   i   is   you  is   she   is  he   is   you
and   me   if   she   is   you   is   me   is
he   if  we   is   are   is   you   is   i   are
me   was   is   are   is   were   are   if
you   is   you   is   you   is  you   if   us
were   are   is   you   is   me   are   we   if
you   if   you  if   you   if   you   if   me





On the ground in Vietnam, the early stage, my father wrote my mother and his parents who counted down the months till my arrival and his return. He asked for scuba gear.





Round and round it spins.

Well now, that was an unintended
consequence. A new world emerges

from carelessness. Oh, the possibilities
once we realize the realm beyond the box. Revel

in the space carved from someone else’s
home. Precursors worm away at facsimiles,

substitutions. Peace rarely assuages conscience
at its core. Earth could care less.





Constant and almost indiscernible rhetoric frames the backdrop. Obscures the players. A low note.





India Tree

White the silent places in wax. Eye
never again. An oxygen tank makes
a hiss, and the tide goes over the bar.
Carry teacups to the kitchen and wonder
how you know they are Spode. The girl
stands up in the deep end.





The Face of Autoreconocimiento

Not a quilt, but pieces on a plane. The fallen collect
on the floor. Diabolical heart. Torment cut out

paradoxes. A rock, a cord, a galleon. Finally
art arrived at torture. Listen America, in triplicate. Blinding

blues. Count the days of 1964. Do not stare at me woman
worn, a cockroach with a brain, tangled chicken. Sometimes

the pieces of rebar per se berate the sounds of crows. I would
love to lie down and sleep pink and yellow baobab. Bed down
in a park to commemorate the foundling.




Ashley David makes word–art–sound things and currently lives in Warsaw, Poland. Recent work has been featured in The Offending Adam and Hyperallergic.