Poetry: Holly Day

From the Garden

I come in from the garden and I’m covered
in slugs. Tiny slabs of snot with antennae waving
slowly moving over my sandaled
feet, pausing in confusion at trying to pass
a particularly thick black ankle hair
navigating the rough etched surface
of a heavy Tibetan silver anklet.
I don’t touch my hair because
I don’t want to know they’re there, wrapped in tangles
dreadlocks with chewy centers.

I pull my clothes off by the washing machine
and start the hot rinse cycle immediately, reconciling
my guilt at running the washing machine
with only two items of clothing in it
with images of hordes of horrible soft bodies
tumbling through the soapy water with my clothes
hopefully boiled alive. If there were more clothes
in the mashing machine, the slugs would be trapped
throughout the load, might find sanctuary
in sweater pockets and socks
might make it out
alive.


My Places

All my favorite places have been overrun
by kids who look at me as though I’m
some old lady who lost her way, stumbled
into their club late at night on the way
to buy last-minute groceries or some important
old lady medication.

All of my regular haunts are being haunted
by children who don’t understand how important
these places are to me, children
who will grow up to become boring adults
have boring jobs, live boring lives
forget why they ever came to these places
and will wonder about
strange old ladies like me.


The Things That Need to Stay With Yesterday

I wake up and I
can still feel them in
me scratching my skin

with callused hands and
ragged nails get back
I mumble in my
sleep get back to being dead.


The Snowman

we drive our stakes and shovels through the heart
of the beast and pray for an end to
winter. we stomp on its head, kick its black coal eyes
far across the yard and take back our
old clothes from its body. no more snow,
we pray. no more cold.

the snowman lies where we kicked it down
arms outstretched in supplication, begging
for mercy against the onslaught of our
thick winter boots, lit torches
paper packets of early-sow seeds
held close to our chests in anticipation of spring.


Fred

the vampire stalks into my
room his eyes are big black holes
in his head he looms over me, claws
outstretched, the stench
of the undead on his breath. my heart
dies in my chest

at his approach, fangs bared
lower jaw quivering
in anticipation of my
surrender, of the inevitable
spurt of blood destined to stop my life
what I am—I don’t want to
die here, not this way.

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