Danielle Nicole Byington's work is published or forthcoming in journals such as NORTH DAKOTA QUARTERLY, STILL: THE JOURNAL, THE CAPE ROCK, and COLD MOUNTAIN REVIEW. She completed her English-MA at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in spring 2017, and, during said time, served as editor for the 2017 volume of the university's literary/arts magazine, THE MOCKINGBIRD. Along with her ardor for poetry, Byington is also enamored with painting, especially representing scenes and characters from literature. She teaches English at various colleges, having been voted by students in 2018 as one of the "Most Inspirational" faculty/staff members at ETSU. Byington enjoys life with her Shakespearean better half and three ridiculous cats.
A name becomes necessary.
Gum stringing from a stepping shoe,
A kite blindly traveling on its leash—
The bud of consciousness transcends mitosis,
Adhering to its nursery of conception,
Its vertebrae no longer required to
Climb out of the sea.
It poses in its orb, the future
Gently parting the stewing-shrimp mass
Into attractive pieces, helpful limbs with joints,
Digits above and below for useful things like
Arithmetic and buttons.
Later comes the face,
Looking like someone when there’s
Nothing else to talk about.
The eyes dream about
The shadows and echoes outside
That remain perplexing in
The crib, the twin bed,
The king-sized mattress with designer sheets,
The sides slowly erecting,
Hinging the coffin’s lid,
Tucking in everything,
Leaving da Vinci behind.