by James Davis May

To get him out of the house so she and her husband
can have a few minutes of real arguing, the woman
sends their child out into the garden at night
to pick basil leaves for the tomato sauce she’s making.
The boy forgets his flashlight, but knows enough
not to go back inside, plus the moon is bright and full,
filling up the open sky above the yard, like a face
peering over a cradle. The moon, the smell of basil,
how peaceful the house looks when he isn’t in it.

JAMES DAVIS MAY poems have appeared in Five Points, Green Mountains Review, New England Review, The New Republic, Pleiades, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. He received the 2013 Collins Award from Birmingham Poetry Review. The former editor of New South, he lives in Decatur, Georgia, where this past year he served as Writer-in-Residence at Agnes Scott College.