The Far Side of the Morning


velvet among the blue-green river rushes, you will come down with me

with the tiny frogs that dart like black velvet cats, cilia and skulls

the smooth river rocks that separate blunt, white teeth


among the bright shards of crystal flowers, the wan stalks

of purring marigolds, the bright yellow marsh streams of fog

that divide the land of white river rocks and the suction of wet mud.


I will rip the flesh from your thin, white rose petal skin

kicking and screaming, I will tell you all about this place.



The Sound of Speed


Even through the splintering of wood and the thunder of passing trains

I can hear you in the dark, the rush, the roar of your heart

like a desperate bird struggling to fly free, up and past

the flickering bare bulb swinging over the bed.


I spread my hands wide over your chest and will

the bird calm, imagine arteries and muscles wrapping you in

great blues wires and metal bridge cables

straining to keep everything in place


the scraping of muscle and skin, the sparks

the screech of angry brakes

the silence.


The Flavor of the Sea


She bares only half of her history to him, spreads her hands wide

to hide the stories that should stay buried. There are screams

sandwiched between pages of sunlight, blood washed into wasted breath

parts of her that will always be stained with dirty fingerprints

will never wash clean.


She sets her pleasant thoughts carefully on the quilt before him, delicate as china

lets them unfold into bright, floppy paper flowers fancy enough

for displaying, half-opened, in jacket pockets at formal functions.

She can be good and pure for this one, she can,

ignore the whispers like needles

the panicked dreams of escape.



Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big MuddyTheCape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing(Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018.