Poems: Holly Day

Tourism map of Indiana, for Holly Day's poems.

My Bad Choices

I was knuckle-deep in the governor
when the phone call came, something about a pardon
some random fluttermoth that needed to be cut free
of its cocoon. The governor muttered something
about straight razors and handkerchiefs
blood evidence and popular opinion
finished with a parable about woodchucks.
I felt the tremors begin in my hands, come up
through the floor. It was too early to give name to forgiveness.

Later that night, I dreamed
I was sleeping with the governor of the state of Indiana
and my mother had been arrested for shoplifting.
In my dream, she brought her knitting bag to her electrocution
covered her lap with a blanket and curled her feet beneath her
as if preparing to watch a nature special on TV:
something about skyscrapers and whistlepigs
two of three things that still grow in Texas.

I’ve Taken to Writing Suicide Notes

I’ve taken to sleeping naked at night
dreaming terrible lies beneath these stained sheets—
we meant something, we mean something, you were
just passing through.
There are places in me you can never see.

I’m practicing my handwriting, where the trembling comes in
sprawled out on the floor for invisible cameramen
to trace me in chalk, walk away.
I’m losing my mind with you inside me
you can never go,
memories, no.

When It’s Over

There are so many important stones
where you are, caressed over the years by
holy, bare feet, shrapnel from fighter planes
passing overhead, cracked beneath the wheels
of heavy armored trucks. They look like
the pavers we set in our own garden, here, at home
thousands of miles away
where I am.

I feel the tremors begin in my hands, through the floor
anticipating the phone call that says something’s wrong
a personal visit from the governor of Indiana
I imagine him at the door. The ancient trade route you will be found on
will be made of squared, broken stones, thousands of years old
and not made with poured cement and tile chips;
I’ve seen this road on the Internet, while looking for pictures of you
I couldn’t find you
but I know that’s where you are.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

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