Pen Pal. A Poem by Holly Day


My friend has been divided into perforated sheets of new stories

I tell her how I’m pretty here despite having being quartered myself

about the monsters that are loose in my bedroom again

the obscenities that come to the table at lunch.

“I guess I liked to be scared. There’s no other reason for my brutal sophistry

and tearing my hair out in mock terror is fun

and ripping my brain into confetti is fun

I enjoyed nightmares when I was a child, and this where I belong.”

Huge fish with sharp teeth complain about their weight

tell stories and poems that have been gnawed in half.

My last nightmare was almost as thin as I used to be.

I tell her how I’m pretty here when she sends me pictures of her:

Posing on the beach with nubile Afrikaners.

Washing oil off of penguins and seals.

In bed with her new cat.

bio picture
There’s nothing quite as wonderful as seeing the end of a long winter in Minnesota . The birdfeeder is busy with sparrows and warblers, robins are nesting in the back yard trees, and tulips and daffodils have pushed themselves up all the way up through the moldering piles of last-year’s leaves to explode in a frenzy of yellow, purple, and every shade of pink and red. It’s just warm enough that I can walk my dog in the morning without a jacket, but still cool enough that it’s not complete torture to work in my tiny, windowless office in the basement.
Short bio: Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis , Minnesota , since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her recently published books include Music Theory for Dummies (3rd edition), Piano All-in-One for Dummies, The Book Of, and Nordeast Minneapolis: A History.

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