Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).
We wait for the bombs to feel us out pass the potatoes, say grace over the odd angels that have watched over us for years through the stained-glass windows of old churches through the eyes of Orthodox iconography. This is a moment of peace that will never come again. Through the windows, the strength of distant concussions fold trees in half, take grain silos and snap power lines. We turn up the gas, clear the dinner table I put a knife in your hand, just in case. The sky grows as dark as if seen through closed eyes windows shake and fly apart. Hands over their eyes, I stretch out next to the children tell them it’s just the sound of His voice, there’s nothing to be afraid of, it’ll all work out in the end.
The Last Days of the Flu
We move like dying butterflies against each other chitinous wings rasping dry in final death throes like dead leaves pushed along the sidewalk by the wind like dead scales sloughed off against a rock. I hear my jagged breath echoing your own feeble one lungs rattling like an engine running dry but refusing to die gears almost catching but slipping again and again if I stay here too long, here, next to you I might catch it, too.
Along the Shore
We walk hand in hand between the concrete pilings, mindful Of broken beer bottles and the occasional raccoon-gnawed dead fish. She squeals as we step into the water, lets go of my hand To chase after the tiny silver fry darting away from her shadow. Just a few feet away from us, the sand slopes sharply Into a pocket of darkness. I point out the deep blue shadows Of danger just ahead of us, warn her to stay close, stay right by me. She asks me if there are monsters in those depths Some great river snake coiled at the bottom of the murky sinkhole Giant sturgeons slumbering beyond the fishermen’s reach. She asks about these things in such hushed, reverent tones, That I am aglow with delight at this tiny glimpse Of the world inside my daughter’s head.