claire holtz

A Little Taste of Heaven

I. The short film we have spent two years
looking for is playing on a loop. You are
leaning forward trying to memorize the color
of the train in case we wake up and forget
the director’s name and I am crying 
because I have waited so long for this.

II. Everyone I have ever loved
in a separate room waiting for me.

III. A hammock in the yard. All of my
bedrooms and all of the beds I have
slept in. I never say I love you first,
or I do, and it feels like drawing
a warm bath, like sinking into something
clear and clean and full of bubbles. 

IV. A bowl of blackberries. My old dog.
Plush carpet and thousands of pillows.

V. I fall asleep like candle wax melting
down. Every morning, I wake up to Spring.

VI. Here, in Heaven, we have everything
we want and none of it matters. Here, 
in Heaven, even the way you say
my name sounds like honey and wind
chimes and carbonation. Here,
in Heaven, it is so easy to love you.
So easy to know you’ll never leave.

-Claire Holtz

The Psychic Really is a Psychic

She has seen her mother and father
slip slowly into forgetting and rot
into old age. She has seen her first
child die in the womb. She cries
every night until her husband leaves her.
Says she saw it coming. Says it still hurts.
The psychic really is a psychic
but nobody believes her because
she lies to all of her clients. She looks
the pregnant woman in the eye,
says, It will be a beautiful boy.
He will have his father’s eyes,

his mother’s laugh. She tells everyone
they will have a good life. Many
children. Stable work. She laughs,
says, The sex will always be good,

don’t worry, he won’t leave you
for ripening, for growing old.

She says, Don’t worry, you children
will outlive you. Your funeral will be

perfect. Everyone will speak of you
like the first rain after a long summer,

“She was good. Giving. Needed.” 

-Claire Holtz