Holly Witzke






You asked me
what would make me smile
All I can think of is
that I don't know
Specifics of happiness
I just know
that love at first sight
is a relationship sweater
that soon gets replaced
by a tee shirt
with a hole in the chest

you don't call anymore
My phone a distant planet
My body becomes another
still life propped against
a fading peach canvas
Slouched like dirty laundry
my hands to my head
holding heavy fruit, no longer sweet

our hands entwined/roots
grew into strong limbs
The fruit of our labor
Heavy meat
now fallen
into someone else's garden

Many Years

It had been many years
before the wife
And kids
in the basement
of your parent's house
the beer can collection
lining the wood paneling
of the room
you offered yourself to me
like a communion wafer
while I kneeled before you
on cold black tiles
pretending to be anything
but catholic
our eyes met
you were no longer
the priest
you were the man
standing in line
behind me
with milk
and cigarettes

Mozzy Timeline


It was the one thing I have to thank you for,
When the crush hung heavy as cigarette smoke
filling up your dad's old Oldsmobile.
  Yves St Laurant, you always wanted to be French.
  I always wanted to die by your side.
  A double-decker bus, a ten ton truck,
  the pleasure would be mine, we sang
  and drove nowhere at 17.

Yearbooks of good intentions sit dusty.
Each new boyfriend has questioned your
name and entry, I simply smile - this charming man.
  I'm sure the phone number you wrote
  in faded ink now leads to nowhere at 28.

The light went out eventually, I heard through the years
you married. I was always awaiting your closet opening.
A dear friend has met her, says she looks like me
and I'm wondering if you can sleep without a nightlight.

The other day I pondered if you ever Play your old vinyl.
The maroon self titled, I can see it on your player.
      (The one on top is always most played.)
   The static hissing off the needle as we fall back
   into your bed like an over-rated drama flick.
I miss those days, but We will never go back to the old house.
                     We never will.


Years pass, I think of you less and less.
New memories cloud over old ones; layers of
  youth blurs with each new face, but the same
  songs play in the cell of my heart.
Summertime, the air is damp, the seats
sweaty. Driving unconsciously to your house
Aware only of comforting words yodeling
through a make shift CD player.
With each a cappella bump, I never lost a note.

The sun and air were more alive, maybe
I was outside more to enjoy it.
(pinker lungs and naivete)
  Instead, I simply smile from a window.
  My body broken to the outside by little
  black slats, that let smoke escape
  to sounds of overhead airplanes
  and cars with loud stereos.

A two flat, top floor vacant except for
scratching of mice. I pretended to be
scared to stay fragile. I soon forgot about
bullet holes that blistered the ceiling when
your hand slowly slid up my skirt. Hands of
  God pounded the sills, shaking
  frames and chipping the paint.
  Drafty and sparse, we planned my taking.
  A mere sleeping bag lay upon creaking
  dirty floor boards.
That night, my key wouldn't fit the door
as I entered home and tiptoed down
the longest hallway.

You were looking for a job, then you found a job.
Heaven knows you're miserable now.
I was employed, starting out in my profession
(You always told me you were a "hair person".)
  The Eighties were coming to a close.
  My hair still tickling the roof of your car.

You're drunk. I'm in a coma; Our dysfunction's
held us together like a scab that never fell away.

"The woodpile," we sat, smoked occasionally and
picked splinters out from my spandex when
conversations died a horrible death. Your thin lips
around a fifth of jack. I preferred Vodka thrown
in a coke slushy.
   Sometimes your friend would tag along.
   He always sat too close; the heat
   of an overworked car engine against
   my thighs. You never seemed to mind.

Six years later and half a person, It suddenly
struck me- I left you where I found you, No job
and seven guitars.
  Oh, how it felt with Mozzy in the player
  and the wind tugging my hair into tall
  yellow flames. In the rearview your
  confused face blending nicely into
  the dull Grey pavement.