Anne Cecelia Holmes

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VICTORY IS STILL VICTORY IF NO ONE SPEAKS IT OUT LOUD

I want to say my ideas
are real, that before I scream

into a stranger’s car
I feel stable about it.

On this peninsula I am
having a lake feeling,

all wildness tied up
in my untouchable guts.

I can’t show you the shape
of my stance but it is like

burying a disease
in the tundra, a million

hungry freaks in my spine.
The music drips

from my head and now
the glue is gone.

I am home in the real sense.
If I made myself some

kind of horror who
would ever stop me.

*

SOMETIMES LIGHT WINS

You stick your neck out into the mess
and no one latches on. Such grand
gestures for nothing. To stage a better
performance try electricity, think
more attractive thoughts. Sometimes
priorities come directly from failure,
from the absolute bottom
of everything. Try communing
with a forest, your hair as a match.
Sometimes strangers have the best
advice, the worst outcome in mind.
You say it’s time for decency! Time
to change trajectory! Invented history
an ugly thing to behold. Now
the neighborhood is on fire
and what a waste. What a way
to lose what you never loved.

*

TOTAL POTENTIAL HAZARD

How I choose to interpret
bad behavior is how I
screw with time. I see this
is spring so I keep sewing
pocket squares on strangers
and chewing candle wax
until my tongue turns.
I consider the origin of
everything and it is like
creeping through a parade
to pronounce a murky
verdict. I want optimism
to carpet me over and
also north and south
to be one giant room.
The kindness I require
could crush a decade.

*

PREDICTION ERROR

There is warmth inside
the space in me. There is a sound
I make when victory turns
to reverie turns to rot.
All the glorified ways to make
a joyless year, to point to
somewhere I will never be from.
Let me tell you the story
of zero. How nothing happens
and the stupid trumpet can’t reach
the high notes. There are times
I extend an olive branch
and only an arm is offered
back. I imagine heaven
to be where the best parts
of the worst people combine
to fight God. There is a
gloaming in my gut you
wouldn’t believe.

*

ALL THE GOOD IN THE WORLD STARTS NOW

On the first day make a little noise.
Call it a miracle, a moment to poorly reflect.
Break some furniture. Watch some movies.
Find a person you can trust and then
reveal your worst self. In the morning
out the window judge everyone equally,
see through their rotten hearts.
This is not rewarding but thank God
for dignity. Make a pact to love your relatives
more, bring better mistakes to the table.
You know who you are because of who
you want to be, which shows allegiance
to the future. Tell a joke to the universe.
Did you succeed? Success like this
is a hard act to follow.

*

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