"before," "I don't know you," and "thirty-two stories"


when the world was young
and knew how to marry thought
with equal action,

we did not simper
for fear of night

we burst forward like lightning,
prepared to claim our destiny

what we tasted, we wanted
without swallowing salt

mountains bowed,
ocean waves lifted our vessels
in reverence

and enemies trembled
at the breadth of our force

now, we are old—

pacing sidewalks
on June nights,
fearing the bawdy call
of yesterday

we have married only
our fears



I don't know you

I don’t know you
but I have seen you
in passing,

dancing with dandelions
on a lawn at dawn,
barefoot as though born
from the very earth
where grass tingles
your tiny feet;

lifting your lips
at any passing stranger,
unburdened by care
for what they think
about your kindness
like honeyed toast;

knowing the time
only between resting
and rising, between
time to pick blackberries
in a garden of summer,
and chasing falling leaves.

I don’t know you,
but I have seen you,
and passed you by,
not wanting you
to know me.



thirty-two stories

my modest brownstone soul
has entire stories dedicated to addiction,
doubt, and puerile grief

I have wandered through,
listening for the slightest sound
within each room,

catching glimpses of a former self,
barely able to lift her head
as she darts without direction

for all the ways I have been damned,
these stories should be condemned
but I keep returning—

intensely watching old stains
as though they’ll take on new life
and lambast me like lung cancer

until all my flowered stories
where promises, hope, and happiness
flourish, choke black

yet, for all their dour decay,
and the self who fears being free,
they are not distant from my strength

my modest brownstone soul
is thirty-two stories and counting,
ever-building the anthology of me



H. Holt

H. Holt is a Georgia author and college secretary who dabbles in all realms of written expression. She has been writing since she was eleven years old. She was the Managing Editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press for two years until it became defunct in October of 2017. She has been published alongside former president Jimmy Carter in Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems. Holt serves as the Social Media Manager for the Southern Collective Experience. In her spare time, she practices another art entirely: the art of avoiding society.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 11:20