poems by Holly Day



it ought to have altered my existence. I observed him bent above his composition, hours consumed informing minuscule granules

of tinted sand of his convoluted plans on the soil, sketching cobalt flowers,

scarlet flowers, a single colossal blossom obscuring the dried, packed earth.

It was so lovely,


I would have given everything to be able to roll it up in its entirety

and take it back home with me, but the storm stole it minutes after

it was finished, spreading fantastic ribbons of contrasting dye

against one another until there was nothing left but flawed, vaguely

grayer smudges striping the blond sameness of the barren sand. the tiny man


rose to his feet, beamed at me as though he had intended on the storm,

and walked slowly away. it should have changed my life. I should have

taken it away with me his lack of creative arrogance, his readiness to just

let his day evaporate in the quest for a small moment of exquisite beauty,

and just the beauty of that one small moment.


I was wholly determined to go home and expunge the whole

of what I had ever composed that day, that week, that whole

crazy year of my life, overflowing as I was

with the little man’s palpable happiness at the creation of something

so temporary. I figured that taking joy in just the act of writing


should be adequate for me, too. I sat in my tent for hours, gazing at page

after page of hurriedly-scribbled poems, annotations,

fictions, tomes almost started and some almost finished

and couldn’t do it. I failed. I wanted to. I would like to be released

of this baggage of miscellaneous papers,


to set fire to all my petty dreams, disperse the pieces of me that are frozen

in those notes

but I haven’t the power to set them all free.




The Tooth Fairy Dreams of an Apocalypse


It’s all there for free now, all there for her

swooping down in plain sight, in

broad daylight, hands out in hungry claws pulling

all those lovely teeth loose. No more need for


fancy hairdos, or sparkly

pink dresses, or even

the crystal scepter,  now that there are no more

insomniac children left to catch her in the act.

She can wear anything she

wants now, jeans, a t-shirt, a backwards baseball cap, a


food-splattered muumuu, or even nothing at all.

Nobody’s left to see her do her work, tugging

stubborn teeth free from blast-cleaned skulls

with a rusty set of pliers, a

string tied to an anvil, an old claw hammer.


It’s all there for free now. No more

dollars to leave for teeth.




My Husband Comments On How I’ve Let Myself Go


he tells me I remind him

of a beached whale lying in

bed in the morning I close my

eyes and imagine myself

being picked apart by the claws of

tiny sand crabs burrowed into

by thin red beach worms

gobbets of flesh ripped


from my carcass by flocks of sea gulls

luring even the raccoons down

from the stubby forest

following the shore. he asks me

if I feel ashamed of myself

and I don’t answer because

I feel dead already I’m

too busy


imagining the shock of

girl scout troops stumbling across

my massive corpse in the shallows

the feel of their tiny hands

on my body joined by the larger hands

of Greenpeace workers and passing

tree huggers as they try

to push me back

into the water


hoping somehow that this half-eaten

cold and lifeless body might

magically come back to

life and swim away if only

they could get me back

into the water.



poems by Holly Day

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