Holly Amos

Today is an argument against clouds



both flimsy

& miraculous.


Nobody talks about happiness


how it turns hair to mercury shot

to the ground


& how eyelashes break a cheek.

I can be this woman


whose eyelids peel back


into flightless moths

burning for light.



This is a flood and we are turbulent with color.




We make good of this rain-punched scene

all color-drained & pallor


befriending dark patches of sky & culling sticks

to kindle.


Who has never seen a bruise

never tasted their own flaring skin?




I open the book of colors & read to you.


It seems light is all we need

to do things.


To believe there is a road where you hold your finger

to mine—where we are is so dark

& full

of blown stars.


Luster is the color you choose


I choose fog

& we move.




You say you know how hard it is just to hold a book

in your hand      the black spine      the birds dying

every time a poem ends.



We are all writing poems about you and your deep, wobbly voice.



This poem is not about you, Frank, but you can take a nap here.

This poem is about some other things


like music, and all that stuff we hear


all the time. The rolling over of the person in bed

next to you (or me). I like that sound coming toward me—

makes me want to lay down for quite a good long time


and rub fingers.


I am trying to make something.

I am trying to make the violins and the grass and the soft gray sidewalk.

Here, here is the rough spot. Here is the beginning. Here is the rug burn


and the rug burn and it feels a little good

in that way of a thing happening.


Does the poem know what is going to happen?


Poem I am quitting my job. Poem I am making a space for you

in this world. In Lakeview.

With an apartment to write your babies in.


(Fat little poem babies.)

Bring your friends, poem—tell them O’Hara is taking a nap

and there is music and cupcakes


and people looking so cool (and a little rusty)

all rubbing together it starts little fires everywhere.

We just want to stop


drop and roll on the cold concrete floor, looking up at all the stars stuck

in the sky.




HOLLY AMOS is the author of the chapbook This Is A Flood (H_NGM_N Books, 2012). She has poems published in A cappella Zoo, The Bakery, BateauColumbia Poetry ReviewNorth American Review, H_NGM_NPhantom Limb and RHINO. She received a BFA from Bowling Green State University and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She is the Editorial Assistant for Poetry magazine.