Poets Read

Poets Read: Deborah L. Davitt

We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series in honor of National Poetry Month 2019 and will run it throughout the month of April. 

Every day in April, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment. 

Today’s poem is Hitogata by Deborah L. Davitt and it appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Gyroscope Review.

Hitogata
by Deborah L. Davitt


The world needs scapegoats and sin-eaters;
through which we might cast
our culpability into a doll,
a piece of bread, a slice of godly flesh,

washing them away in running water, 
through which no evil spirit can pass,
or watch our sins slide,
sleekly buttered like a crumpet
past someone’s kindly lips,

erased and absolved,
taken on someone else’s shoulders—
oh, if only if guilt could be absolved
instead of perpetuated endlessly
in an endless cacophony online.

I swallowed my opinions,
buried them deep in my own gullet
where no one could hear my
confession and condemn me—
made my own flesh
my hitogata,

until I opened my eyes one night
to find myself surrounded
by a swarm of paper dolls
all wearing my face, 
shuffling shiff-shiff, each to each,
as each flattened body slithered
under the door 
to seek new homes.

I should have drowned them first.

Deborah L. Davitt

About the Poet: Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Reno, Nevada, but received her MA in English from Penn State. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and son. Her poetry has received Rhysling and Pushcart nominations and appeared in over twenty journals; her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Compelling Science Fiction, Grievous Angel, and The Fantasist. For more about her work, please see www.edda-earth.com