Washington Square Review

Holly Mitchell

Two Poems by Holly Mitchell


The War Ends Softly


Not being here is an apology to the body.

Running laps is not justice but burns sometimes

like a roman candle inside me.

The shape of my soldier

sleeps naked but for his cocoon.

Yes, he. I don’t know how not to

do it. We are political animals. Almost everyone

here takes something or another

out of context. The killing reminds me

what it was like to feel shock.

But nights do not. Zoos do not.


Soliloquy of Lo


Heroes together, cherries in their mouths,

blue lace, taste of grass,

mulberries behind the RV,

plastic devil, lights of the mind,

plank of wood, sliding out from beneath.

When I was eleven years of age,

I thought I could fight.

Marsupial eyes out back,

pity lapping up blood from knuckle,

taste of iron, ribbon of it,

alchemy of my illness,

chocolate cakes on the window sill,

a red cock in the palm of my foot,

against it, surprise whistles.

Nothing surprises me anymore.



HOLLY MITCHELL’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals including The Bakery, Ishaan Literary Review, Split Quarterly, and Transom. In 2012, Holly received a Gertrude Claytor Prize from Mount Holyoke College and the Academy of American Poets. She lives in New York.