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anne cecelia holmes


the backbone of night

"We make the world significant by the courage of our questions, and by the depth of our answers."



If we don't destroy ourselves we will
one day shine by our own light.
I imagine I am a telescope
with a dark planet in my guts,
a lumpy world orbiting inside.
Worlds are born and die.
I build a campfire to measure time
and after a long mystical sleep
I am burning like the flames will
take care of me, like my ignorance
could crush the tallest mountain.
There is not a god for every
human concern. My brain
exhibits an irreducible roughness
grander than a red-hot stone
in the sky. I am sick
of talking about space
but in the darkness
is something dimming
and I always spoil my own
endings. There is a ghost
of a chance my body burns
holes in the night and the people
who fall from the sky are kinder
tribes than this empty lot.
Hold that thought. Hold the knife
that divides the void. I am a stark
experiment in natural disaster.
My own thighs are evidence
of a flawed awakening, a deep
reconnaissance into chaos.
If I am sucked out
of the Milky Way I will
divine my own laws
of nature and colonize absolutely
nothing. If life originated
in water and dirt, I have lingered
long enough out of the muck
and now crawl back into the dark.





Anne Cecelia Holmes is the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Jitters (horse less press, forthcoming 2015), and two chapbooks: Junk Parade (dancing girl press 2012) and I Am A Natural Wonder (co-authored with Lily Ladewig; Blue Hour Press 2011). Her poems have been published in jubilatConduitDenver QuarterlyiO: A Journal of New American PoetrySixth Finch, and OmniVerse, among other places. She is a co-editor of Jellyfish Magazine and lives in Western Massachusetts.