Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books “Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men” (The Moon Publishing) and “The Smell of Snow” (ELJ Publications), while her needlepoints and beadwork have recently appeared on the covers of The Grey Sparrow Journal and QWERTY Magazine.
Just Past the Light
The old man’s name
is painted all over the side the bright red truck
and the girls in back of the truck are shouting that name
their faith shattered by the sight of the corpse in the road.
A policeman comes over and asks them questions
about the man, who he is, where he lives,
asks why they’re all in the back of his truck
they look fourteen fifteen sixteen years old
they just look impatient.
I lean back and watch the perceived evil unfold
as rumors fly through the watching crowd,
that dirty old man who deserved to die
some poetic justice that he had the girls with him when it happened
that he had pulled into the gas station before the incident
and hadn’t been hurdling down the road with those poor girls in the back
when it happened. One of the girls is crying
I pretend it’s in relief.
In the Margins
You defy me
in pages half-crumbled to dust
in the footsteps of prophets
in the paths laid out by unattainable men. I am standing
in the outskirts of your memory by now, bloated by conquests
better forgotten. I say you
are the one who’s not real, not me.
Dead eyes follow me
from the hollows of statues, mimicking feral carnivores
growling in my wake. The tiny carnivore inside me
fights for breath in its own aquifer, reminds me
that not all memories can be forgotten, only
forgiven and moved to the past.
My tongue reeks of cracked pots, conceptual pieces
as I preach of gift-wrapped bluebirds
promise black waves of crows.
You are duct-taped unrecognizable
full of sirens and flashing lights, faithless,
impatient. Subway cars rattle past
bearing the names of unrecognized saints
scrawled in aerosol paint along their sides
carrying the Holy Spirit somewhere else, away
from the cold of my own tiny, dark church.