And the Lord called to man, and He said to him, Where are you?” —Bereishit 3:9

In the begin­ning we clock out & rev our Camaros

until the red lights down Mar­ket Street go green. Oh reverse

ripen­ing, we grow far­ther & farther

from our sweet spots until, back home,

we fill our baths & knock knock—

Who’s there? Do you have time to talk?”

Do you have time to talk

who? Do you have time to talk about

the Lord?” Mis­sion­ar­ies never

get us off. In the begin­ning — ” We point to mezuzahs,

lock up the doors, slide over the chains,

get in our tubs, crack open some Coors & then

knock knock in the beginning

we read Roth in the bath,

his books all the same: Those who tempt you

with fruit are, by the end,

going to make you

get nose jobs” knock knock In the beginning

there is shit-tons of dark­ness then

light then infi­nite grapes so wine

is real cheap like Franzia a week

of its good­ness & then drunk in our tubs so suddenly

struck by our bod­ies we’re asked

like Adam Where are you” & we speak of Ohio

as Roth spoke of Newark

until the voice inter­rupts from some awful distance,

 — and who told you that you are naked?”

Alli­son Pitinii Davis, PhD, is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a final­ist for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award’s Berru Award for Poet­ry, and Pop­py Seeds (Kent State Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2013), win­ner of the Wick Poet­ry Chap­book Prize. She holds fel­low­ships from Stan­ford University’s Wal­lace Steg­n­er pro­gram, the Fine Arts Work Cen­ter in Province­town, and the Sev­er­ing­haus Beck Fund for Study at Vil­nius Yid­dish Insti­tute. Her poet­ry appeared in Best Amer­i­can Poet­ry 2016, POETS​.org, The New Repub­lic, and elsewhere.