By Holly Day


ice melts in noisy rivulets
resumes descent on muddy river banks

poking its greasy snout out of the water
a bullhead lumbers out of torpor, floats to the surface

frightens newly-hatched crawfish and water striders
small sand crabs hiding in the silt

When You Want Me Least

You, who are so different, can’t be
expected to agree on anything
with me. I just need you to hold me long enough
to understand what is written on the small tag attached
to my toe, and then you can go.

There are streamers and iridescent ribbons
for you to reflect on
while you sit here with me, in the dark
a newspaper with your name written in black felt pen
over the original headlines
memories of what we could have had
if you had only become the president, or the Pope.

The real memories
are still here, somewhere, as well as
the rest of my heart. You
can wrap them all to go
if you want to forget.

Out in the Distance

The ground welcomes me, even though
I’m still alive, even now
I am just another something
that sends out roots wherever the dirt
is soft enough to receive me. I can feel the flowers
growing under my skin
can feel them struggling to break free
to sing out under the sun.

You can put your own roots out, too
spread out over the soft grass with me,
shake loose your skin
let the earth in. Eventually, we might
grow as high as trees, thick trunks and limbs
twisting around one another in a frozen embrace
blooming in a garden

of our own making.

Outside My Room

I can hear your hand on the door
your fingers sensing my room
on a time-learned path
shadows no longer as if I’m asleep
brazen, you’re here anyway

I hear your feet dragging down
the hallway, hear the jagged
intake of your breath, even now
hollow fingers brush my hair back
all the thing I’m screaming to forget.


The beast inside me is screaming free the
dead thing inside you is still dead
either way, I can’t go home

under the light of early sun
violet streaks across the sky
what the hell am I doing

About the Author:

Holly Day

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.