"BEST of ISSUE" WINNER
Fog on the mountains makes stencils out of trees,
while crows make stencils out of me.
Ninety years, nine rusted chairs they sewed me into.
Years after birds became bees and top shelves olympus,
I’ll be a willow, the whisp in velvet.
I’m sunk into the bottom of the bog I used to
coax fish out of when it was deeper and I, shallow.
When paths were paths and earth, dirt.
Now I tunnel tents and time tempests
with the shaking of my bones.
The mountains I once owned, own me, with a grip
of iron and coal sucked up in my car engine.
Ten mile radius with a feathered frontal lobe
and fettered soles and souls. Reliance,
on the crosshatch windows at night.
I am on that mountain, above, and below,
pressed between pages and not yet picked by little hands.
Pickled, and not yet planted, like the stories set
in no-man’s land. I am paper thin and running
to outrun the ten-foot man.
Emma Beitzel, VA, John Handley High School
EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
SUMMER 2015 - 2016
My fingers hook the blue acai through the fretted skin of my mouth
as my father, he rose from two fish scales spiraling about,
tells me that I will not speak to the sane man steering a ferry, that
I cannot, on the contrary.
My mother cringes, she lives by amaranth,
bleeding water on his spoons.
I’ve seen eyes so red when the rivers stitch her a velvet sea. His
night-violet ices her silky, a tortuous cream of a color.
why can’t I whisper, muster a pathetic, brittle sigh?
I am an exceptional wanderer, I can disavow his lovely aerie of truth,
But be dear and bury me first.
For I have learned to make do with my glass lioness,
her cotton a white, white foam.
My echo wears the rosemary, and I fall back, I know.
Prattle to the mirror fifty-two dreams, in truth,
it will not crack.
It will smile with me and the man to whom
I could speak. He
screams that between alucinari and a luminary lies “my.”
Nikita Bastin, CA, Saint Francis High School
ALL OTHER CERTIFIED NATIONAL WINNERS
An Aggregation of Voids - Jillian Ritchey, MI, Clarkston HS
Coffee Cream - S. J. Ross, MT, home-schooled
Blank Epitaph on the Moor - Emily O'Connell, MA, Tantasqua Reg HS
to Ashes - Su Min Kim, NJ, Bergen County Academies
Rueful Wires Shall Be Replaced - Audrey Welk, OR, Tualatin HS
Withered - Saul Quintero, TX, Rouse High School
Amour-Propre - Shruti Kumar, NJ, Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Canvases - Anna KLochman, MO, Blue Springs Freshman Center
Human Noise - Voulette Hattar, CA, Valencia High School
Shattering The Bell Jar - Georgie Geen - VA, Hanover High School
Grandfather - S. Ana Henriquez, TX, The Atonement Academy
Ferris Bueller's Dream Off - Kyra Charles, MO, Oak Grove HS
The Problem with Describing The Grand Canyon -
Amanda Dettmann, ME, Yarmouth High School
Child of Earth - Crystal Overstreet, GA, Georgia Cyber Academy
Vulnerability in the bare bones of sanctuary -
Mya Holbrook, IN, Franklin Community High School
Do Not Forget To Fall In Love With Being Alive -
Leena Ghannam, MI, Berkley High School
Downstream - Mahwish Amir, TX, Harmony School of Science HS
JUST POETRY!!! & the Live Poets Society of NJ
legitimately good poetry since 1998
no fooling, no kidding, no scamming.