Holly Day

Falling, Flying

His arms reach out, fingers drag

him up through six feet of dirt. Eyes pick stone angels

out against the starlight

as dead flesh curls and writhes, adjusting to the summer air.

 

He stumbles across the graveyard, following

the scant clues of an end he doesn’t remember.

There was a woman with a bomb strapped to her chest

packets of explosives bright red beneath her jacket.

Flashes of sunrise surface, as if from a dream

the agony of moist flesh pulled away by the force

white bones poking through. No more.

 

There was a bright yellow schoolbus in that flash

he doesn’t remember. He’s grateful

he can’t remember. There is peace in oblivion, surrender.

Around him, other things

are pulling themselves out of their graves, each

with a horrible memory to bury. It was like sunrise when she exploded

 

his arm is burned through, even now, beneath the plaster.

It cracks when he moves it, it wasn’t made

for movement. The skies broke open to let in the blaze

clouds boiled, red and black

that’s a good enough place to end.  

 

The Survivors

His arms reach out, fingers drag

him up through six feet of dirt. Eyes pick stone angels

out against the starlight

as dead flesh curls and writhes, adjusting to the summer air.

 

He stumbles across the graveyard, following

the scant clues of an end he doesn’t remember.

There was a woman with a bomb strapped to her chest

packets of explosives bright red beneath her jacket.

Flashes of sunrise surface, as if from a dream

the agony of moist flesh pulled away by the force

white bones poking through. No more.

 

There was a bright yellow schoolbus in that flash

he doesn’t remember. He’s grateful

he can’t remember. There is peace in oblivion, surrender.

Around him, other things

are pulling themselves out of their graves, each

with a horrible memory to bury. It was like sunrise when she exploded

 

his arm is burned through, even now, beneath the plaster.

It cracks when he moves it, it wasn’t made

for movement. The skies broke open to let in the blaze

clouds boiled, red and black

that’s a good enough place to end.  

Just Over the Next Hill

hands reaching out in the dark, the wail

of trains rattling by in the night, there is a woman

just like me, only happier

traveling to someplace beautiful, far away.

I fall asleep to the sound of his breathing

the whirr of electric metal gears turning

in my head, fading speed.

the scrape of skin on skin.

 

In the morning, I mourn the loss of my beauty

refuse to face the mirror. hands reach out, rough, beneath the covers

happy dreams, not yet awake, he still wants me.

He doesn’t love me anymore. I know

he’d still find me beautiful if he’d just let me keep the lights off

if we made love only in the dark. splintered wood and the rush

of desperation, this is all happening

much too late. unencumbered wheels and endless miles of rails.

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