Holly Day

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).

The Light

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.

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