top of page
  • Holli Carrell

Three Poems

Annunciation: Leda

He shot

through the



my fingers

my eyes


my body

with his




The spider


on the wall.

He said Shush

little lamb,


make noise.

He hid

in the back

of my throat.

Every time

he woke

and beat his


blood broke

in my mouth.

Helen and Theseus

I watched him lift it

quivering in his right fist.

I was a girl

troubling the bulrushes.

He gripped it

like a fighting millet fish:

stiff and slick,

or so I thought.

I could hear oranges

break from their branches.

I despise helplessness.

Yet men love me

most when I am generous

with my body, quiet

as bones

closed in dirt, immured

beneath a shallow river.

What more

of this story must I give you?

I was blank once.

Io by Water

I might have guided him

a little with my eyes;

my milk

can spilled over; my sweet.

I was dumb as the lamium

below his feet,


For days after,

everything I touched

seemed to shrink

away from me.

Don’t ask me how

a breeze becomes hands

under a skirt.

I still dream

of hot bees

dripping from a flat, tight sky

and nesting

in my blood.

He took what he could,

which was everything;

my mind, my mind—

I still feel

a sharp blade

pressed there. I try

to walk myself clean,

but every onyx eye

of every red anemone

is his pupil-

stone: bottomless, bended

over me.

Holli Carrell's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Blackbird, The Florida Review, Quarterly West, Fugue, and other places. You can find out more at

bottom of page