“BEST OF ISSUE” WINNER
AS SELECTED BY OUR READERS
$500 scholarship award
It has eyes in its mouth.
Lots of them; little golden eyes which wink
but never close. I like to watch them
peel off of the roof and tear toward us
like tiny tongues of fire. I try to catch them,
to ignite, to be an envelope of light.
There is no sky.
But I wait for it to rain to wash my hair,
so I can clean my face with someone else’s tears.
Like this, I can pretend the sky
I swallow bullets.
They are cold and leaden,
and roll smoothly down my tongue.
I hide them inside me
and turn them into diamonds.
Alexandra Mendelsohn, NJ, Bergen County Academies
EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER
Two in the afternoon and
overcast plate glass glows translucent
beyond my silhouetted form
at the back corner table.
Someone takes the other chair.
The sandy scrape of time-stained wood
washes up with waves of idle chatter and china
clattering on the current certainty that
I will sit in silence.
Shades of self-absorbed other pass
shop and street alike, distance distorted
through sleet on the window --
but never mind.
The constant heat in my hands is enough.
A foreshadow of the moment left
a crack in this sepia mug that is not mine
yet nests in my palms
and sends spirals up to steep the air
with some stranger drift of
Rachel Xu, PA, The Lawrenceville School
"BEST OF ISSUE" NOMINEES
chinese cemetery - Hannah Broderick, HI, Punahou School
Tectonic - Briana Marie Fonte, FL, Mater Academy Charter
Sans âme. - Kelsey Davis, NC, North Henderson High School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED NATIONAL WINNERS
Bandage - Maryssa Dennis, TX, Hendrickson High School
Fragile Hourglass - Taylor Volk, IL Dekalb High School
Truth is the Dream - Madeline Rita, CO, Denver School of the Arts
Libertine - Regina Xu, CA, Evergreen Valley High School
Jet Black Serenade - Quang Vo, TX, Alief Early College High School
UnSpace - Decia Forrester, WI, Middleton High School
Ghost Trains - Emily Joe Watterson, IL, Jacobs High School
hospitalsong - Katherine Mottissey, MA, Norwood High School
And It Is How Much We Forget That We Cannot Remember - Qianqian Zhao, MA Boston Latin School
Answered - Lisa M. Mueller, CT, Rockville High School
Birdfall - Isabella Grabski, NJ, Bergen County Academies
Quiver, Gently Quiver - Quang Tran, GA, Berkmar High School
for Christina - Chloe Rybicki-Kler, MI, The Roeper School
The Sonnet of the wanderer - Leah Jones, ME, Bangor High School
The Burning - Jessie Weber, PA, Hershey High School
Joys of the Mind - Ruhy Patel, PA, Central Bucks High School West
Sonnet 134 - Aaron Broache, MD, Mount Saint Joseph HS
Bait - Michelle Shen , CA, Saratoga High School