Poetry

Running

[Published in Noted Magazine March 2017]

I went running near the beach one morning – the river banked on the sand,

spilled sanguine, buried in the spur – the sky held up its red hands,

wringing together forming clouds. I went running through a cold, fierce

wind, my hair blown back like the head of a gull.

 

My father was Catholic, my mother Protestant and they fought

each other like the Irish. It happened every day when I was a boy

and I ran away a couple of times, headed for the beach. I ran into the

wind-whipped sand – the only ones awake, the birds.

 

Sand blew and hewn in whorls of giant golden skirts. I imagined a girl

dancing, twirling in the music of morning now, lonely here as Autumn –

but my thighs ached and my calves burned and she went away with the wind.

I ran at her body, in it: a baptism of flies, buzzing and at my ears,

their bites swiping and digging, wings like little fleshy paper.

 

I turned and ran from the beach. Heavy concrete and gravel Midas-gold, my

breath dry and raw. Walking home I saw a pregnant rat. Its belly engorged

and stretched, pink and balloon-like. Its black eyes saw me and she ran away.

Just fitting through a hole in a garage door.

© Michael Holloway

 

The Marina Lake

In the cool evening the water is calm.

We sit on the rocks, your foot slips

on wet moss your sock soaking to the ankle.

 

My sister and I, like monks, sit patiently.

No eels come here anymore,

the fish swim out too far,

imperfect ringlets mark their place.

 

Sunlight martyrs you. You worry I may fall in.

The salty bacon smell swings on the hook. The dog tied up

watches us. The line in the water sits like you

sit on the rock, waiting for the crab.

 

The wind combs my hair with her hands.

You don’t like photographs of yourself

unless you’re laughing. The line goes taught.

A crab catches on.

 

The evening grows dark on the other side of the lake.

Crabs here are much bigger and black.

They quickly scuttle across the pier. You scream.

The dog barks, almost pinched on the nose.

 

Each of these monsters are thrown back into the water

where it’s impossible to see the sunset.

They drop in and crawl the lake bed for that scent of meat.

 

In the cool evening the water of the lake is dark.

The rocks are dry and silent. My sister and I can hear

the crabs clicking and bubbling as they resurface,

watching us go home as if waving goodbye.

© Michael Holloway

 

There Has Been A Winter

There has been a winter in the soul of your soul.

To withstand it, you have only to wait in the January

of your forgottenness. Forget me. Forget everything

you have ever known. Be clear in the snow left behind.

It is cold but you show in the detail of it.

© Michael Holloway