poems by Holly Day



I’m a fool and there’s no

getting back all the things I have lost. No use crying

for the little pieces, all the bits that

made up what I once was, a

lie destined to disintegrate


under scrutiny. Somewhere

out there is a man

rewriting my history


and this time, he’s promised

to make me interesting. Not even

oncoming traffic stops for me now, I

have grown so invisible

nondescript, destined


to be forgotten. My

new identity will belong to

someone more dynamic

headline-grabbing, genius, but for now I must sit

patient with the person I

am now. Even a


fool can learn to love

peace of mind

the quiet peace of real things

the pace of reality. Oh,

I am.




The Very Last Drop


on the last day, when the world finally ends, I hope

I’m sitting in my car, driving somewhere nice, thoughts of the day ahead

filling my head with anticipatory joy. I hope my favorite song

is playing on the radio, and I hope that I have just enough time to sing along

all the way to the end of the song.

if the world was to truly end on a perfect note, then I

would have a cup of coffee by my side

hot but not too hot, and just enough to last until the very


last second. I don’t really care how it all ends,


so long as I don’t know it’s coming, so long as

I don’t have to think about it, have to prepare for it, have to dread it

in any way. I don’t want to live through

global starvation, a prolonged, senseless war, weeks of

television shows featuring children dying somewhere else.

I want the end


to be something nobody saw coming but the sandwich-board

prophets, standing crazy on street corners, waving their dirty fists

up at the sky as if

some god up there


was glaring down at the earth, making maniacal plans


to destroy everybody and everything we’ve taken so comfortably for granted.


want to end up like those mammoths dug out of rock ice in Russia

found completely intact, flash frozen, with food still in their mouths

caught by disaster in mid-chew, mid-thought

completely surprised.




For New Constellations


If you were to set me free, I would leave with only

a rolled-up animal skin tent strapped to my back

a pocketful of  dried berries and reindeer meat

a chunk of ice in a bucket to later melt into water.

I would give you one backwards last glance,

one last chance to stop me

before disappearing into a landscape of glaciers and polar bears

a sky filled with so many stars.


It would only take moments for my retreating figure

to be swallowed up in an expanse of white snow, only moments

for the wind to erase my footprints, the twin snaky signatures left by my sled.

Eventually, you’ll discover that all of your letters

have been forwarded to a research station abandoned by Russians

years before, everything you forgot to say in person

has been shredded into bedding by arctic foxes and penguins

chewed into mulch by inquisitive polar bears.




In Search of Truth


In the 14th century, world-renowned traveler Sir John Mandeville

came back to England with stories of a “vegetable sheep,”

thinking that the cotton plants he’d seen growing in India

were actually embryonic sheep, born out of the hard little wooden nubs.

First, sheep start out as fluff, he theorized, then the hoofs and the legs emerged

pulling the body and head out afterwards. He didn’t stay in India long enough

to see the cotton grow into a sheep, but he did bring home several pods

for scientists to dissect and study, in hopes of growing more

vegetable sheep in English soil.


It wasn’t until 1557

that Italian scientist Girolamo Cardano

wrote an extensive and exhaustive thesis on how soil

could not possibly provide the requisite heat for the fetal development of animals

he was very sure of this. There were rumors

of questionable experiments, a slew of missing dogs and cats

a few sheep from the surrounding countryside

tiny graves and headstones in his backyard

hidden just behind a plot of sweet peas and marigolds.




Too Late


If we were alive a thousand years ago

the only way we would have ever gotten together

would be briefly: you, emerging from your spartan

clay-floored monk’s cell, horsehair-stippled habit

hiding your rough, angry frame as you stomped

off into the woods, into the night


to my tiny hut packed with bottles of bright-colored rocks

roof fallen inward from the weight of birds’ nests and ivy

packed to the ceiling with things found on my walks

eyes of tiny creatures watching from every corner.

I would greet you at the door, hair wild and unkempt

leaves and twigs stuck in the knots at the base of my neck

greet you and your rules and order without question or thought.


There would be a moment in all of this where we made total sense

where our differences didn’t matter, as if we evened each other out

where our grunting and screaming was some type of language

that erased the whole world around us. Eventually, though,

just like now

the sun always comes up

and we remember who we are.


poems by Holly Day

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