As selected by our readers
($500 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE)
(after Elizabeth Willis, "Phosphorescent Trains")
Flitting beyond metal chairs, I stutter
at your eyes. If bicycles float, they do it without
my exercise. There’s no box in a heart
its weaving feather.
Wire is wire.
Such a me, disappointing silence, blinking
of chocolate. Don’t drive
if speed has transcended its wings,
your ears are in my plane. Nevertheless
I’d detest a moth, but do you desire not a one?
The toe cannot bend a thousand, ill-used
between the clouds. How still
if I can’t hear its buzzing? Squeeze
your lashes from me as you
press to send.
Kyriana Lynch, AR, Lynch Family Academy
($100 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE)
An owl perches on a mango
peel thick like armor to a swollen stomach.
It stands, porcelain, whole
yearning to be new made.
The owl plucks.
One sip of juice—tongue stained black envy.
Two bites of flesh—jaded replies, behind the back.
Three pieces of skin—acrid, a child leaving his mother, unripe.
The mango is dried and naked
inner seed a mirror.
No carcass to clean, the owl
plucks its own plumes until
bare ugliness protrudes.
It is stifled, Hercules out of rage, staring itself
in the glass pit—
A naked bird eaten by its reflection.
Yuxi Liu, OH, Solon High School
OTHER "BEST OF ISSUE" NOMINEES FALL 2011
Convergence - McKenzie Hightower, TX, Trinity Valley School
Sleepless - Charles Davis, PA, Lower Dauphin High School
If, in dreams... - Sadina Brott, MI, Cedar Springs High School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED NATIONAL WINNERS FALL 2011
Seven Took the Train Today - Kevin Hilt, SD, Thomas More High School
Leaving Courtney in West Virginia - Anna Voelker, PA, Hampton High School
You, Eternally - Tianjiao Wang, CA, Monta Vista High School
Rose Dream - Talia Weiss, IL, Evanston Twp High School
Hope Is In The Blue Drops - Skylar Bryant, CO Loveland High School
World War Infinite - Rachel Peevler, CO, Union Colony Preparatory School
The She-Panther's Lament - Nathan Harris, OR, Portland Christian High School
Monotony - Joey Wanczyk, IN, Hamilton Heights High School
The Human Mind - Allison Borthwick, IN, North Central High School
The Precipice - Sungho Kang, CA, El Camino Real Charter High School
Nightmare Spirits - Shannon Fickling, CA, Liberty High School
Grace - Mary Sun, VA, Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
Icarus - Kelsey Weymouth-Little, NY, Ward Melville High School
The Birth of Insanity... - Haley Sladek, TX, Atascocita High School
Emotional Enigma - Tesslyn Bergin, CT, Waterbury Arts Magnet School
The Day's Way Out - Reily Cook, LA, Caddo Magnet High School
Letter of Resignation - Austin Vaughn, IN, Castle High School
Thanks to all!