by Juan Holmes

Waiting Room

My parents will die before yours
and I realize this. My dad has a heart
that shivers every time the wind blows
word of check cuts. My mom—her mind
and her body are on different revolutions.
Both love each other very much, but love doesn’t pay
for all the lab coats that circle them like ghosts

Colored Looks

I’m tired of getting
Colored looks with my fries,
shadows treaded softly—
lowered limits put on our skies

I’m tired of seeing my people
half in-between the field and the
whorehouse. We are broken mirrors
copied from every angle yet still
crows circle us
like yesterday’s drive-by


          How could I try to speak pretty to all of you pitchforks on fire. I can see the hate in your eyes drowning me like butter because I am broken. To say I am broken is to say I am a thousand drops that bead on your face every time you hate, you throw hate like butter on pancakes without even looking.

          How could you even look at yourselves: half children, half ghosts half of a dream you never filled yourself up. You empty cups; chipped from being dropped from the sky like rain. We are all broken clouds, dripping, dripping, into the things we call lives and walk like a Picasso into one relationship after another until the stack on top of each other like pancakes.

          How could you know what it’s like to lose? What have you lost when you haven’t started to gain? How could you have finished when you are in the middle of the beginning. I am lost and my sorrow is a magnificent cake cut by an indifferent fork. The end.

Juan Holmes is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He grew up in the Arkansas Delta.