Prayer to be Said on the Evening of a Terrible Day
Let’s get drunk on the porch
and breathe in car exhaust. Let’s pretend
none of what we feel is brain damage.
Let’s stay home from work today,
and tomorrow, and the next day.
Let’s eat raspberries for breakfast,
good bread with every meal. Let’s walk around
outside and forget it is raining. Let’s get soaked
in all that noise. Let’s be water all day,
and breathe like low tide when we sleep,
breathe like dew, and grateful faucets.
Let’s be the ice melting at the top of mountains--
that kind of clear. Or else, let’s sit down for a while
and not feel guilty that we have become lazy people.
Let fog roll over our city like down blankets,
and let’s take it in, let’s take the whole damned world
and love it like we used to before we knew better,
before we knew to be disappointed
in anything at all.
cannibal business meeting
the special is breast,
raised locally//a side
of wilted microgreens,
very trendy//will impress
all your colleagues//what wine
goes best with female//have a bottle
of the reddest drink here//
smile with those white teeth
of yours// show everyone
what a beast you can be.
The dust devils wait for no one. If you jump inside,
you can ride them to somewhere you don’t hate.
They will not notice if you suffocate inside their bodies.
They have sand to kick up, and cacti to overthrow.
I can teach you the way to their homes in the mountains.
I have a map to all the dust devils’ mansions.
They are made of glass and have security guards
at the perimeter. If you let me in your car,
I can take you there. You can let me in, I will take you
to the mountains. I will not blind you
with what I’ve found in my travels.
I will not take your car and leave you
up there with them, high in the mountains
where there are pines and thin air.
Can you smell the pines? They are glorious.
The dust devils are lonely, like both of us.
They’ll have room to take you in.
The wedding leaves the taste of blood in my mouth
It's a glamorous occasion—the guests masked in white sheets
like ghosts. A guitarist in red plucks "Love Me Tender"
in a corner, as the happy couple enters the ballroom
carrying two chickens with their throats cut & still dripping--
a mess of blood & feathers trail behind them on the polished floor.
And now the bride & groom invite the guests to offer
their dead to the sacrificial pile,
says the master of ceremonies. Everyone rises
& throws each other into a heap in the center of the room.
The bride & groom climb the bodies to the top, & sit there,
waiting with the chickens in their laps. Their formalwear
sweat-stained & marked with symbols made in lipstick
by the bridesmaids. The master of ceremonies lights a match
& sets the buffet on fire. Everyone oohs & ahhs
as the cake bursts into flames. At the end of the ceremony
all is still, but for the guests’ sighing, as they wait
for the smoke to swallow them whole.
SOPHIA HOLTZ is a writer, performer, and sometimes-illustrator. She has performed her poetry in bars, colleges, and the occasional basement throughout the United States. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO, decomP, Consequence, H_NGM_N, and others.