Cougar WebWorks
Alternative Culture Magazine


Three Poems by Holly Day


Twenty years later and she
swims still to the surface of your
dreams, blue eyes reflecting your brown
in morning coffee--no one
knows why you pace late at night
afraid of sleep-strangling
the woman in your bed. And the late night

tap of your daughter's midnight feet only
reminds you of the soft bird pulse
in her throat, how easy it is
to calm the frantic beating thrashing
of arms and wings and legs, the scent of girl
that just won't die
with cold water, cold flesh
balled fists


Sitting alone in my office, my desk
pulling at my short hair, hiding my neck.
It's not a love bite.
It's a rope burn. Inside I'm screaming.
I will not break down for you.

Watching sparrows learning to fly
outside the plate glass window of my office; my desk
offers the sanctuary home never could.
Baby birds crash and slide down the glass.
Why would they want inside?

Home is a nightmare of burnt dinners and
long nights; you are a sadistic mole--
Evil sleeps in the daytime, opens eyes
at night, pulls my head off the pillow
and into the basement. Again.

Spending the day in my office, my desk
cramps my legs; my chair is too tall.
Watching baby birds trying to get inside--
I long to fly through the glass to get out.
You cannot touch me. I am not
in this body. I am not here.

I will not break down for you.

[1st published Quilt Vol. 18]

Owl Pellets

cold, bone--
dry, branches, lifting white
to meet the air, to match the screams
flesh sloughing off in wads
in passing. Forget him before you lost yourself.

hands, tiny fingers
curled into fists on a blue-and-white
screen, feet kick out, heart pumps blood
picture throbbing like an amoebae
on a machine that says everything will be all right
liar. cold, bone--
dry, bone needles digging their cold way
out, flesh sliding off in passage
too young to meet its brand-new
world. Forgive me before you lose yourself.

lying, still ticking
in the dark next to your body
damaged flesh sewn whole
damaged flesh, sewn hole, only memory
of the folded skull emerging
from nightmare into reality
screaming stark as it ripped its way
out, proud parents
of a stone-cold

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