“Born in a Soggy Hospital Room” by Davidson Garrett

What image can convey humidity?
Should I oil paint droplets of water
on a blank canvas? Or—superimpose

a magazine print of a bluish lake
onto a photo of a newborn’s forehead?
When asked if I possibly remember

anything about my actual birth,
whether true or not—I always say
the air, the Louisiana air; thick air

you could slice with a butcher knife.
I inhaled this wet nitrogen gas
to sustain my fragile life

mixed with particles of carbon dioxide
dripping with an over-abundance
of H2o—capable of creating

static electric vapors
to spark dramatic thunderstorms
flashing orange/gold lightning

& tingling lanugo fuzz on my baby body
generating an inherent reverence
for the volatile atmosphere

conducting the languid tempo
of my infantile days. Yes—
the brutal humidity, my first memory.


Davidson Garrett was born in Louisiana and lives in New York City. His poetry has been published in many literary journals and periodicals including The New York Times, The Episcopal New Yorker, Xavier Review (New Orleans), First Literary Review East, Sensations Magazine, The Ekphastic Review, and Podium, the literary journal of the 92nd Street Y. Davidson is the author of the poetry collection, King Lear of the Taxi published by Advent Purple Press and the chapbook, To Tell the Truth I Wanted to be Kitty Carlisle published by Finishing Line Press. For forty years, he drove a NYC yellow taxi to help subsidize his artistic pursuits. www.davidsongarrett.com