Holly Day

by Horror Sleaze Trash on February 5, 2014

bio picture

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes for the Minneapolis school district and writing classes at The Loft  Literary Center. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Tampa Review, The Comstock Review, and the St. Paul Almanac, and she is the 2011 recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from BartonCollege. Her most recent published books are “WalkingTwinCities” and “Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch.”

Percale

 

I can almost see you through the fabric between us, can almost

feel your warm skin through the cloth. I can feel the wet spot where your mouth

is trying to reach my lips, I can  taste your saliva mingling with

with the residue of scented detergent and bleach.

 

You thrust and I come and it’s almost too quick, I grab your hands

wrap fingers in rough cotton, wrap hands around your body, strain against you

in brief claustrophobia, then I’m done. You’re still moving, and I wonder

if it’s because I can’t see you, can’t really touch you

 

that I want you so much, if I want you so much because

the only place we can reach each other is through

a single hole in a sheet, this one place we can always connect.

 

 

            Thursday

 

Suddenly, I know what is in the package. It’s

another piece of child, sent to drive me crazy.  The package

is just the right size to hold

a bunch of little bits.

The very bottom of the stack of mail is a large manila envelope,

 

full of photographs of people I don’t know

or a finger, perhaps.

I gently pick the package up and shake it, it sounds

thick with paperwork, photographs of people I don’t know.

 

The rest of the mail sits waiting to be sorted through

at the very bottom of the stack is a large manila envelope,

perhaps concealing another piece of child, sent to drive me crazy.  The package

has the return address of the new Baptist church in my neighborhood.

 

Photographs of children pour out onto the floor from the package

from the envelope, I think I recognize the handwriting.

 


 

            Closing Time

 

You look down at your hands and suddenly

it’s all spelled out for you, in plain, simple language:

this is your life, this is the summation

of your life’s work. This handful of erasers,

the experimental cleaning supplies,

the rolls of transparent tape—this is what all those years of college

the tithe of childhood dreams, this is what your life equals.

 

Across the table from you is a man holding

a similar pile of office supplies. “Just in time,”

says this man, whose name is “Frank.” 

“Kids start school next week,

and now I don’t have to worry about shopping for school supplies.”

He holds up a ball-point pen

with an eraser attached to one end and shakes it.

 

 

“Neat.”

 

 

Who can tell exactly when and where it was you snapped? It could have been

weeks before the incident. You could have been sleepwalking all those days

before now, standing there, gun smoking in your hand,

a line of writhing bodies in your wake. Or did it happen at all?

 

This is what your life amounts to—running out the back door

and down the service stairs, so sane, finally. Are those sirens?

Or are your ears still ringing from the reverb

of metal hitting metal, gunpowder igniting,

someone screaming next to your head?

There has to be some way to make this right,

 

and going to jail is not going to make anything right.

 

You long for wide open spaces free of concrete, skyscrapers,

glass, and noise, and so you get in your shiny red car and drive.

You drive. You just get in the car and drive. You take off your shirt

while you drive, and your pants, and your shoes,

until you are just wearing your pinstriped boxer shorts and a pair of socks,

your blood-stained clothes random markers

on a life disappearing far, far behind you.

 

You’re just going to drive until all this is behind you.

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