Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.
I Will Not Be
hand in hand, fingers turn to claws and I
still know you inside that mask of anger I
can still see the person I will always fall
in love with behind those bright eyes
am I going to die tonight? I wonder.
walk with me softly past the corner
where we first kissed. here, under the street lamp
the exact spot where you said you loved me
over and over again, do you remember?
I do. I do. this is us, so many years later
and there is only ice when we speak
but do you remember? I wonder.
An Afternote to a Book Without Us
Cockroaches raced along the ground here long before
there were dark alleys and rancid dumpsters
truck drivers and greasy spoon diners, old hamburger wrappers
to curl up inside. Before we were here, cockroaches
scuttled in the nests of dinosaurs, fed on the sticky albumin
of newly-hatched eggs, dug tunnels in massive piles of fecal matter,
were old even then. They lived through
the asteroids, the second and third great extinctions
left petrified footprints in the mud
alongside our first bipedal ancestors.
They will be here to see the last flower of humanity
wilt in the heat of cataclysm, will polish our bones
with their tiny, patient mandibles, will lay their eggs
in our shirt pockets and empty hats. There will be
no great cockroach takeover,
no post-apocalyptic ascension to superiority–
they will always just be, chitinous wings fluttering
scurrying, squeaking in the dark.
Just In Case
if one was not familiar with this part of Kansas, one might suspect
that the women here long for summertime all year long. One might mistake
the gigantic, bright-colored butterflies adorning the faded houses
their wingspans reaching over three feet across at times
as an homage to the real butterflies so rarely seen this far from the countryside
fondly remembered by those who grew up on farms, or old enough to recollect
that once there was not a town here. They might not suspect that the gigantic butterflies
are there to both hide great swaths of peeling exterior paint and as a tribute
to a transmorphic deity who also emerged from a cocoon of flesh
whose name is whispered constantly under breath
by huddled housewives convinced the end is coming any at moment.