Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Luna Station Quarterly, Liminality, and elsewhere. Her chapbook of words and images, Glimmerglass Girl, will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She is a freelance editor and host of The Weird Circular, an e-newsletter for writers containing submission calls and writing prompts. You can find her canoeing the bayou in Seabrook, Texas, on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath, or at http://www.hlwalrath.com.
When Darkness Leaves
After Mark Strand
But that early dawn she has nothing for herself
not even a removal of the hate, not even the wandering night.
She sleeps in damp, in rot, in swamp. She creatures night.
And aren’t we all unlike? And isn’t this because we leave ourselves?
When our unreal bodies depart we are alone, thoughts well across our beds
giving us the deep cold of ourselves wilted in the earth, buried.
But that early dawn she wears the skin of a ghost dimmed by the other world.
And still yesterday’s waste deepens the slim ranges of death.
Diary Outside of April
After Sylvia Plath
Hate is a star
slowly rising to its feet, standing naked.
A gutter opens under the rabbit
ships of black flora sink in daylight
they were not a Sahara.
Those massive white squares
without their green cotton shrubs
what were they but old man’s skin?
Here—isn’t this red outside of the ground?
They batter you hatefully.
You don’t flinch, don’t blanch, you aren’t cold.
You think you should exist
you aren’t smart or happy.
Your cartoon gloves
slipping and slipping around the ugly yellow night
of your broken wrists.
This isn’t a borrowed bed after all.
Nine timeless nights
you stood breathless
a civilized tree without the alien
or field of old magic bones.
You hate us.
You hate us like the past
plant a black seed
don’t imagine them
your twenty earths.
We drop our black-blanched leaves
outside the thin gold-like dough
black seed stone heart and gasping:
no hate, no sex.