Holly Holt

Somewhere, My Youth Lies Rotting

When I think about
the roads that lead home,
I know exactly where they’ll lead:
to a house long crumpled
with a makeshift pet cemetery
placed on a barb-wire hill
where tulips shall never grow,
and an October orange cat
lies rotting along with my youth.

Like a hypodermic needle to the heart,
my mind turns to Griffin
and a black, pot-bellied puppy
writhing and whining and wanting
so desperately to go home
that the noises he made
sounded so human,
while the room around him
filled with laughter
at how bad he smelled,
and at his frail attempts to communicate
in words that we could understand.

“I wanna go home,” he whimpered.

Not long after that, the puppy died.
I can’t remember how he smelled.
I remember only his cry,
and that I was part of the laughter,
which seems so sinister now,
as it wakes me during a summer nap.

I can’t help but wonder
if people laugh at me
for the same reason.

Since August of 2013, H. Holt has been published by various magazines and blogs. She has recently been accepted by Negative Capability Press, who will be including her in their Anthology of Georgia Poetry in 2015. She lives in the luscious mountains of North Georgia, where she spends her time helping students achieve their dreams of higher education.

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