The Burning Sun / Joe / The Cat / First Contact / The Last Day - Holly Day

The Burning Sun / Joe / The Cat / First Contact / The Last Day - Holly Day

The Burning Sun

There is nowhere left to run. Behind you, smoke billows black and foul

Hot enough to melt lead, turn flesh to liquid, more smoke. The air itself glows red

Burns like the red eyes of a Hollywood-set tiki statute, moves in visible

Currents against the gray starless night, thin wisps of fire in the dark.

This is where even vampires come to die, to burn in agonizing freedom

The confines of flesh shaken, immortality sloughed, denied


In a single sunburst of pure nuclear flame, hot as the heart of a star

Burn shadows of Nosferatu silhouettes into concrete bunker walls 

Claws curled and extended in frightening final black-caped profiles, specters 

In a cemetery, never to be visited. Buildings loom, dark, glassless, baked

To diamond-hard perfection by the billowing clouds of fire, stand

In empty memoriam to

The final infantile thrashings, the last shadow dance

Of a doomed precocious race. 


Joe

I pretend I’m blind so they won’t bother

me, but even I know when I’m

being so persistently

stalked. I admit I’m a killer

but it was out of love. It’s

a complicated story, but if

the man in the shadows wants to ask me

why I killed his brother, he can come into the light

and ask me and I will tell him. I will.


The Cat

for years, I dreamed of eating you, of trapping you between

my paws and staring you into submission. too many years

spent salivating over you

and now that I have you, trapped under my claws

I’m not sure what to do with you, my heart

urges me to smother you before you can run, to

swallow you whole like a snake would a rat, but my

heart aches at the thought of this

being completely over

misses the chasing games we used to play, the ones you

finally lost. I will always be watching you

even during those times you think I’m asleep, eyes

half-lidded in nonchalance, faking

indifference. today, you get to 

be the pet, my own, my only, and tomorrow

I’ll only eat a bit of your tail for breakfast.


First Contact

The dolphins at the zoo have begun to realize

the errors manifest in trying to communicate

with humans. Too many attempts at peaceful negotiations

have been met as requests for more fish.

The people in the cages have begun to realize

that the aliens regard them as only

pets or fresh meat. Any attempts to engage in serious conversation

have been met as requests for more corn chips 

and snack cakes.


The Last Day

The dolphins at the zoo have begun to realize

the errors manifest in trying to communicate

with humans. Too many attempts at peaceful negotiations

have been met as requests for more fish.



The people in the cages have begun to realize

that the aliens regard them as only

pets or fresh meat. Any attempts to engage in serious conversation

have been met as requests for more corn chips 

and snack cakes.


Holly Day.jpg

About the Author

HOLLY DAY has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000.

Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest nonfiction book, Tattoos FAQ, is coming out from Backbeat Books at the end of 2017.