“BEST OF ISSUE” WINNER
AS SELECTED BY OUR READERS
$500 scholarship award
They Dreamed They Were Oysters
Sun, rotating turret, osculates sea. I breathe.
Sand takes on expanse. Gull, swooping hawk—I’m safe,
Cloistered in earth-moat; hell-trench, water-snakes, snapping
Turtles—I’m safe. You know me? Do you know my pearl?
Closing out lightning’s teeth, my shell a steeple.
Have you slept on my stained-glass tongue? Have I given
You everything: nutrients, time, a mother’s love,
A father’s support? Have I shared too much, suffered
To sheathe you? Adorn some minstrel’s daughter’s wrist, then,
Her heavenly neck a bone-net clogged with refuse.
Her wrist is a gate that will not open for you.
You will never enter the body, never sleep
On the tongue or snug inside bone. You dream of bowels?
No one will swallow you. No one will hold you. Joy,
Nobody waits in the dead of night to begin.
Jacob Oet, OH, University School
EDITOR'S CHOICE WINNER
$100 SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
Maybe You Should Be Getting Back to Juanita
blondes you banged like the sea. latinas you stripped
of catholicism like clingy undershirts. heads
you stole by the sweet lick of weed on your neck.
teeth in your grin i pop out like pills. your black hair
loose in fingers as i pluck out the grass on sunny days.
or on rainy days which are the same days.
dragged over your shards: girls and green insects.
green like the ends of your teeth after they've squatted
in my drawer during an eclipse of no time.
i sew all your teeth back into your gums. i gather
you and roll you into my lap. i fold you
into separate pieces. i see your arm twitch
in the washrag pile. i kiss your sweet neck, sweet grin.
i tuck you with the birth control. your body, it's empty.
except for the teeth.
Shauna K. Moore, LA, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
“BEST OF ISSUE” NOMINEES
Pan's Pan - Dua Saleh, MN, St Paul High School
Mirror - Skyler Jones, AL, Jefferson County International Baccalaureate
The Long Way Home - Taryn MacKinney, CO, Poudre High School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED NATIONAL WINNERS
Skinny Dipping in Winter - Meggie Royer, IA, Ames High School
A Season's Kiss - Christopher Leesang, FL, Miami Coral Park Sr HS
My tragedy - Auburn Lee, TX, The High School for Performing & Visual Arts
I'm Fine, How Are You? - Kelley Williams, OR, Southridge HS
Damage Done - Savanna Klinek, CA, The Bishop's School
A Curse - Antora Rahman, IL, Lake Park High School
Ma - Ogechi Ibeanusi, CA, Capuchino High School
What Happens to the Things that are Left Unseen? - Sarah Fischer, FL, Robert Morgan Educational Center
Firefly - Amanda White, OH, Mars Hills Academy
Train stops - Abha Kulkarni, NJ, Princeton Day School
Your Body is a Microcosm - Katie Murphy, GA, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School
Cracked Lunar Eyes - Kate Diehl, MI, Farmington High School
Familiar Wars - Chelsea Evered, CT, Guilford High School
Bedsheets - Stephanie Niu, GA, Walton High School
Fury of desire - Derek Yu, CA, Westlake High School
Blackberries - Shea Hamilton, CA, Arcata High School
What You Leave Behind - Ria Banerjee, MD, Poolesville High School