Three poems – Holly Day

Holly Day

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.

Here Is the Dress She Wore

high-pitched girlish giggles
the dull scratch of garden tools
screams from the bedroom
in the backyard

I’m not like that. no.

taste, smell her sweat
even now I wonder
I don’t want to. no.
washed clean in the river
sprawled on the stairs, scalped beach bunnies
dreaming of Barbie lying around the house,
plastic limbs
staring back at me, wide blue eyes.

who once held me
I remember what happened to her.

How I Identify You

I listen to your heart beating inside its cage of broken bones
the Braille graffiti of your chest, and even now I wonder
what things would have been like if you were whole when we met
if you weren’t so damaged by your past, would you have come to me?

I run my fingertips over the old cigarette burns along your arms
testament to a drunk stepfather who never bothers calling anymore, wonder
if I could somehow put the pieces back together, fix this mangled child
how long it would take for you to decide you didn’t need me anymore

that without your damaged past, there’d be no reason to seek solace
against me and my own broken heart.

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