“BEST OF ISSUE” WINNER
Within the Measure
When the Sinner opens his chest to sing out in prayer
And finds that his vocal chords are written in the wrong key and feels they cannot be unlocked,
I tell him that his past could never be more tangled than my veins
And yet somehow these red rivers still manage to reach my heart
So Sinner, OPEN your ribcage like a music box and release your notes like a dying breath
Because you have the right to Live as much as I have the right to Think
And I’ve always thought that the sound of a sorry man
Strumming his vocal chords with the violinist’s bow is
The Holiest Hymn.
So Friend, Brother, do not concern yourself with keys
Because your tone will always harmonize when it is written within the measure of sincerity
Know, that your wrongs could never be more sinful than the red hands of your accusers
With stones ready in their sweaty palms,
While they slit each other’s throats to throw that first stone you skip rocks across seas of grief
Crafting poems with their ripple,
No more sacred song has ever been sung to God than the melodies you mold
By skinning the surface of your sorrows with these prayer stones
So Sinner exhale the Symphony behind your Silence
Sinner, teach me the rhythm of your lungs.
Anna Voelker, PA, Hampton High School
EDITOR'S CHOICE WINNER
($100 scholarship prize)
She has a fistful: dry, ribbed
knots of bone. Rootless
caps, rinds of dried blood-orange
gumming up the carved center.
Some wear a flood of brackish crystal where
nerves caught in bubbled calcium ruptured.
You can see them, glaring violet through the yellow
light of the kitchen lamp. Something
white between your gums, and later like
Clamshells, mussels, conch.
All made up of the
She traces the ridge, sharp and
rippled like a cheesecutter.
What do you know about biology.
The body sprouts something temporary to teach you how to lose.
To know the horrible crunch,
the foreign bolt loose on your tongue-
A bloody gap glowing red in the mirror.
Lia Johnson, CA, Great Oak High School
OTHER “BEST OF ISSUE” NOMINEES
Boys Among Men - Cal Blomquist, NH, Exeter High School
a tale mistaken - Joanna Weiss, PA, Bishop Canevin High School
northeast regional - Kevin Li, PA, Upper Dublin High School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED WINNERS
Cold Wind Blowing - Stephanie Russell, PA, Charleroi High School
No Longer - Natalie Yoshioka - MD, Dulaney High School
Dandelion - Julia mcGuire, NH, Kearsarge Regional High School
Afterbirth - Yinan (Nancy) Wang, NJ, East Brunswick High School
October - Kyleen Grissom - UT, Weber High School
Alavo's Conundrum - Skyler Jones - AL Jefferson County International Baccaleureate School
Fire - Ethan Burk-McCoy, NH, St. John's Preparatory School
Forgiveness, Best Served Cold - Molly McGinnis, ID, Boise HS
SCK - Ellen Reinhold, MI, Grand River Preparatory High School
Long Lungs - Casey Leslie, MO, Central High School
The Swimmng Lesson - Sam Desch, MN, Stillwater Area High School
Another Desert Night - Dana Helfenbein, AZ, Xavier College Preparatory
Memories of Venetian Shadings - MP, Grace Christian Academy
etnicity: unknown - Anran Yu, AZ, Desert High School
signore, remember your muse - Erica Lin, NY, Hunter College HS
THANKS TO ALL