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Anne Cecelia Holmes

At the Slow End of the Continuum

We scale our house but it gets boring.
Our picnic becomes a game show
where the winner meets his new family.
According to these numbers we should
be asleep in a bush by now, our heads
in one giant grab bag. When a new calculus
takes over the neighborhood it wipes
our dullest patterns. It asks
Is this you or a composite of you?
If this town moved overnight would you
get lost inside it? In the abridged version
of everything it's best to say yes.
To stare at the sun with a more
refined stupor. Once again we pick
the worst variables. Here we are
trilling from a seesaw. Here our
brains echo all at once.


None of this concerns you but
sometimes it's better to pretend closeness

than live in fear of rejection. Things I know:
car sickness, the Mall of America, all-night

murder dreams. Childhood was a joke.
Slinging imaginary rifles over my shoulder,

falling out of trees for negative attention.
These days I talk to you like I have nothing

to lose, no grip whatsoever. I sneak into
the neighbor's basement just to be the criminal.

I call you in the middle of the night to say
I'm not a ghost yet. It's funny because

in Chicago I have a real brother but what
a boring story. Things I don't know:

portion control, King of Prussia, easing
depression, the optimal gesture.

Nothing I say will make you love me
and there's real honor in that.

Anne Cecelia Holmes is the author of the chapbook Junk Parade (dancing girl press 2012), and co-author (with Lily Ladewig) of the e-chapbook I Am A Natural Wonder (Blue Hour Press 2011). Her poems have appeared in Phoebe, Denver Quarterly, InDigest, H_NGM_N, La Petite Zine, and others. She lives in Northampton, MA.