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'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson

Teri Ellen Cross Davis

About the Poet

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is a Cave Canem fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, and has attended the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

Her work can be read in: Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC; and the following journals: Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Gargoyle, Natural Bridge, Torch, Poet Lore and North American Review.

Her first collection of poems, Haint, was published by Gival Press in 2016.

She lives in Silver Spring, Md., with her husband, poet Hayes Davis, and their two children. Their website is




Spring 2017 »

Ruminations on Prince
B-sides and Rarities
by Teri Ellen Cross Davis


I. Erotic City
I was 13 when my fingertips found the groove
tapping along a rounding hip
oblivious to biology’s intent
but waking up to the possibilities.

II. Sex
A hunger lies docile within me. Her key
a man’s tender inquisition. If I let him touch her
- beware. Her tendrils grow deep, curious
on testing what insatiable will bear.

III. Girl
Boy, the word runs around
my mouth, whispering to my tongue,
hell can be raised with a lick,
flick— or just a kiss.

IV. Electric Intercourse
The air sears between hips, this melody
a startled beauty, breathing in halting sips
if this kiss be unwritten may the lust
tasted be enough to condemn the fingertips.

V. The Question of U
Divining answers from a guitar solo,
sycophant in this, his religion of desire.
I bare myself to the speakers,
pray somewhere he is listening.



Teri Ellen Cross Davis ~





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