The Heat


when we were young

and time was free,

our skin danced in bronze

crafted by sunlight’s constancy


our footsteps whispered

in fields of green and the distance

between us was a heartbeat,

caught in the hum of laughter

about something silly, I’m sure,

but now the reason is gone

as much as who we were,

once—when summer knew us best


for all I know now is heat,

how to harness it by air conditioning,

while seconds rise like goosebumps

to steal the rest of youth away

bronze serves as a bleak reminder

that sunlight cannot stay






lectured in the backyard

about how to start a fire

on coal with a match


statement: you know, they don’t

make the blue-tip ones anymore?


while thoughts whirl with wonder,

not sure if there’s ever been

a difference between one flame

and the scorching next,


my mind turns inward

to the certain knowledge

blazing there, ever fed,

and think how America’s flame

has slowly dwindled,

but I know there’s no way

a blue-tip will make much difference

on coal fading to ash,


so I sip Holland’s finest and say,

“ain’t that some shit?”





coffee talks most on mornings

after the night has maimed

what senses were gathered

in the shroud created

by day’s calm relief,

sure silk—sure foolishness,


and all the fabric rests

with as much happiness

as a whore’s soiled mini skirt

after Friday night’s contract

ends with a Wall Street jerk


my senses are cauterized

to stop the gush of thoughts

while coffee and daylight

wash my soul clean,

and I tell the night

to fuck off, and stop

fucking with my sleep





“only” doesn’t exist

in a bent up, rusted,

two steps from being gone,

smothering, half-ass joke

of a heart, aching over

close ties and foundations

built on hope and roses

you’ve chosen to neglect


“only” exists in one flame,

one lighter, one perfect throw

to burn the only sad home

on a happy street, and watch

the flames lick away the lies

only I believed



Friday’s Fire Drill


Called out by silence

to stand in slippery-ass



on a morning

of yawns and yarns

and a lazy yolk sun

that can’t even do its job.


[It’s fucking cold!]


Kid murders bubblegum,

shoots it about five feet away,

almost smacking the sidewalk.

Good aim, kid, good aim.


Even out here,

we’re divided

like the military,

like Congress.


Who am I kidding?

Everything’s divided these days.

Sorry, Ben.


If these people only knew

how crazy it was,


standing around

because of imaginary flames

when we’ve got a clear view

of the door.


Dumbass fire drill.





H. Holt has been published by various magazines and blogs, including The Blue Mountain Review, Eunoia Review, Yellow Chair Review, Hobo Camp Review, and Ishaan Literary Review. She has been published in “Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems,” alongside former president Jimmy Carter, among others. Holt serves as the managing editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press; and is also the one-woman show behind Southern Muse Services, which is a business dedicated to artistic renderings, where she takes works from other poets and puts them to digital art. Holt is a full-time student, full-time employee, and a full-time member of The Southern Collective Experience with dreams of writing the next great American novel.