Semira Davis

Semira Davis is a writer whose work has appeared in Re-Draft, Ika, and Landfall. In 2016 she worked as Editorial Assistant to Anne Kennedy on Ika 4, and completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing).


I wrote “Sex Poems with No Bra” on the bus the morning after an overnight journey up the North Island. I’d fallen in love the day before. We now have the daughter who inspired “Night Swimming”.


Sex Poems with No Bra


you’ve carved a pentagram

in the wood of your guitar

the lighter you hold against the fret

is orange sliding up and down

my legs are tucked under the neck

so I can watch your fingers switch chords

from behind

you make the tui silent

you make me write songs in my head

that I’m too scared to sing because I know

my music isn’t as strong as yours

but it was me who described how we felt that night

so you play

and I breathe in the sun

and tomorrow

I will be jealous of myself

for having spent the day with you



Night Swimming

at night she moves
– a seal in kelp–
her body breaks the surface

and we see her

move the way of dead sheep
found in the hills
– hard prod with a stick –
popped and spilling maggots

my brothers aren’t here to see her
– they’re not carrying sticks –

she moves at night
against the back of her father
unaware how many uncles she has

how they used to sneak
– with her mother –
up on seals asleep on the rocks