Anne Cecelia Holmes

Somewhere in the Looming Fear



I don’t blame the yard

for not existing,

my head for annihilating

every good thing.

It’s okay to breathe

shallowly to understand

how your heart works.

To sit for hours

paralyzed by the sun.

Some days I consider

myself subhuman but

self-aware enough

to know what not

to expect. I know my

way around a valley,

how to break

a humming silence,

and I can fathom trees

parting without relief

of a lake. I do not cry

for help. I reserve

my crying for more

irrational things

like predictable finales

and parties I wouldn’t

have attended anyway.

To truly understand

heartbreak you must

first be infested by

its power. I don’t care

if human nature is

another false behavior

or if I can truly believe

in the intentions

of others. Right now

I am holding a vigil

for my memory.

May it take the shape

of a vacant valley.

May it sliver

with zero grace.

I Took the Calendar for an Airplane



Would you rather stand

with me or be tied

to a buoy built

to sink? Here I am

cloying my way

through your system

and all the world

is not a miracle.

My heart signals

incorrectly and blood

flows through me

like sheet metal.

The sun is a game

I cheat in. I could be

brave from the highest

tree but I know

the radios have gone

dead. I know the solar

system and how we’ve

broken through,

that there is plasma

over everything. In

the interim we can

be thankful for flight,

for endurance tests

to keep our guts intact.

There is always loss.

You can set your flag

at half mast forever

but I am introducing

a new kind of flailing

to survive.


ANNE CECELIA HOLMES is the author of THE JITTERS (horse less press, 2015) and the chapbooks DEAD YEAR (Sixth Finch, forthcoming 2016), JUNK PARADE (dancing girl press, 2012) and I AM A NATURAL WONDER (with Lily Ladewig; Blue Hour Press, 2011). She is co-editor of Jellyfish Magazine and lives in Western Massachusetts.