On the plane to America there was a child stuffed in the overhead compartment. I heard it—the soft cries echoing hollowly through the plastic above my head. I stared out the window for a while. I stared at my hands. The flight attendant came by with water and peanuts but I let them fall off my lap. Felt the ice burn through my sock. Wished on a star through the glass but it turned out to be a bird and fell out of frame. I think I’ve had enough of this life; I want to move on.
–––––––––– Cameron Calonzo is a high school student from Southern California. She writes “because she is a poor conversationalist.”
By Holly Day
(Originally published November 21, 2017)
The parts of my childhood I can remember
are disjointed, unsuited for a house
or a school or a world
made of the stable things I read about
all the time in good books.
I got lost. I am, even now, certain that each new home
won’t be comfortable for long,
clinging to the hope
that we are suitable hosts for each other’s misery. I tell you
home is more than the back seat of a car.
Even leaves separate from trees
before curling up to die.
Holly Day’s poetry has appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.
Presser foot down. Sewing machine stitches on linen blend fabric. A beautiful chocolate-brown curtain covers a picture window. Six months later. Swish. Swish. Swish. Curtain is washing. Spin. Spin. Spin. Brown water goes down a drain. Curtain twists, then huddles to one side of the tub. Washing machine jumps and stops. Jumps and stops. One final hiccup. Done. Curtain goes into dryer. Hot air blows. Lint collects on mesh. Tumbling. Shrinking. Wrinkling. Iron slides and glides. Forward. Backward. Sideways. Days later, on the front window of a thrift store, gathered on goldenrod, a sad-looking, paper bag-brown curtain.
A sweeping arc of human flotsam entwined with leavings of nature abandoned by the ebbing sea. The immutable, the perishable.
A vivid tapestry of nylon netting, orange, blue, green. A corked ocean bottle bearing tidings of past victories, or defeats. A plastic bottle, a portent of future unseen catastrophes Fragile shells, carapace of crab. Sea scoured root and branch washed from African shores Feathered wing, storm-ripped on a futile sea crossing.
The immutable, the perishable. The pulse line of a dying planet.
–––––––––––– “I write to empty my head of stuff.” – the writer
I feel no nostalgia no longing to go back to be part of my past I don’t look behind me. I feel no fear either no concern that one day it will catch me to up. I know that it’s already here part of my present with me waiting for the future.
–––––––––– “I write to let the words escape.” – the poet
my fellow countrymen, violently so,
these disenfranchised, war-less warriors with a meanness forged in faith
and hammered rock hard by life’s insults, delighting
in the shock—the horror—
the stinking black abstraction they created,
An amputee scratching at limbs
that are no longer there.
This morning a cold, strange voice
whispered in my ear Liberty fell last night, it said,
Broke her hip, died in the ambulance of a heart attack.
We thought you should know.
“(I wrote this) to process my disbelief.” – the poet
She didn’t have to date that married man She would’ve been fine on her own She didn’t have to put up with the bruises She would’ve been better off alone Because alone is not lonely No matter how many Say otherwise.
–––––––––– “I write to drown out the voice in my head.” – the writer