“BEST OF ISSUE” WINNER
AS SELECTED BY OUR READERS
$500 scholarship award
after the Holothuroidea
You may be swept and insomnical, so I am bound
to get caught in the yielding of it all. In late July,
your organs slide out like a present for a carnivore.
We have trained a parrot to sit inside the hollow
of your ribcage of a stomach; give Polly a cracker,
it coughs. Give a cracker.
Give, give an ungurgle; poor man’s starvation: because
there is nothing further in your stomach to reveal—
it has always been a net you could not lace tight enough.
When is it proper to spill your innards, because osmosis
is selfless and this is about losing it. Maybe I am losing it,
Venice. But you are always submitting, forgetting.
You gave up four ribs at the gateway to the canals,
because they could not let in a skeleton without
a respiratory system. To breathe, underwater, they said,
holding your head to the wet sand,
and then you twist away.
You fold back; you ease
open; the aorta splits in bloom.
Alicia Lai, PA, State College Area High School
EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER
$100 Scholarship Award
Them Shrouded Women
There are wings in the skyline,
whispering hymns of cicadas to the moon
as they travel through the beforelife and shed their insect husks.
They molt transparent flimsy wings,
wriggle loose sharp square teeth,
shrug out of pale faces, and lift the veils over ripe curvatures.
They are a delicate species with their red, red staining blood,
mammoth complexities protected—
hidden behind tall hedges in some regions
and ninja blackness in the stark white
of liberal, captive, useless slaves
smeared over a globe of forgetfulness:
can they ever recover from being lifted and then dropped
a million lifetimes from the beginning of man
into existence in the presence of grave-stone serious counterparts
and then beguiling little ones?
Can they ever?
Naseerah Hutcherson, IL, Chicago Virtual Charter School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED NATIONAL WINNERS
painter - Farris Peale, MA, Phillips Academy Andover
Bombs - Gabrielle Onyema, IL, Lane Technical College Prep
Taps - Anna Cotter, MN, Seton Home Study School
Dream of Technicolor Sheep - Allie Roose, SC, Goose Creek High School
Not Just A Magnolia - Victoria Chen, MS, MS School of Mathematics & Science
Outcast - Emily Ge, WA, Charles Wright Academy
Fromage - Teresa C, GA, Chattahoochee High School
Objectification - Parisa Yekalamlari, WA, Gig Harbor High School
Luminescence - Elizabeth Eder, OH, Solon High School
Sanguineus - Terrapin Frazier, NM, Amy Biehl High School
An Autobiography of Tall Tales - Margaret Lang, OR, Tigard High School
Secrets - Katherine Huang, NJ, Princeton High School
The Desperation in Mistakes - Sara Tayl;or, NH, Hollis Brookline High School
Self Expression - Casey Cruse, OR, Philomath High School
Bohemian Lips - Madison Christ, CA, West Linn High School
Jewel - Sophie Eden, TN, Merrol Hyde