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THE DITCH

by Holly Day



the day my great-granddad died, he dug the hole
by himself, all the way square to six feet deep.
Jumped in the hole, lay down
pulled his gun out and
shot himself clean through the head.
His suicide note just said
“Shouldn’t be too much trouble
just push the dirt back in.”

apparently inspired by this story,
my grandmother’s first husband
hung himself in the bedroom he shared
with his wife, left the door wide open
so anyone coming into the house would first see
his shit and piss-stained body dangling from the ceiling.
My aunt and uncle, aged 5 and 7, found this waiting
when they came home from school.

when my husband talks about suicide
I tell him
make it clean.





WOMAN HIDING FROM HER HUSBAND
AS HE TRIES TO FIX HER BRAKELINE


makes a story for the rain,
holds her hands over her
ears, allows her eyes to glaze as
sunlight fades away, she

makes excuses for the
storm, hides her head beneath the
dirt, pretends to sleep, deaf
to the crashing sounds, she

waits, inside, cautious of
the returning storm, creeps outside
slow at noon, picks up the

beer cans.





HOT SUNSHINE SONG


I tried to open my heart to you
felt the petals stick as they struggled
like the warped bud of a sick tulip—fungal
at the root, I tried
to love you but I didn’t know how.

You tried to help me, I think
armed with harpoons and bone snares that
meant love, but only the jagged edges
registered anything with me.
I forget the good things I know were there.

We could have been good together
if the right pieces had met at the right time,
instead of crashing like icebergs, breaking into cold snow
we might have been perfect if we’d tried
a few years later





WOMAN ON THE BUS


Sits so close to me, backed
In the corner, I can feel the knots down
under skin, the odd angles the bones have
been reset into from years of being
loved by one who tells her,

“I’ll never do it again.”

Want to lend my body to her,
strength to pull the trigger,
strike with kitchen knives. I wish for
her a mouth of teeth, and
eyes that open on their own, don’t
shake with fear—am I the one to tell her

this isn’t love?




THE CHICK AT SCHOOL


she talks about fucking her father
with such an air of sophistication,
says she is such a sexual being that
even her reluctant father couldn’t
keep his hands off of her, draws

parallels between herself and tragic
Shakespearian heroines forced to
marry their fathers, brothers, says she
used to feel dirty thinking about
her father’s penis but now that
she knows he’s just another man

she’s okay with it.








Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream. Her book publications include Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-All-in-One for Dummies, and Music Theory for Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.






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New Poetry


EQUINOX
by
Gale Acuff


NECESSARY PARTS
by
Susan King


JUNG'S POETRY
by
Ivy Page


LOTOPHAGI
by
Sonali Gurpur


THE DITCH
by
Holly Day


ISSUE:
S P R I N G
2012

NOVEL EXCERPT:
ALLIGATOR POND
by G.L. Williams

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