[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


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