CL Writing Contest 2018 Top Ten (Poetry): First-person

If this is your favorite poem, vote for it at from Mon. Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. to Fri. Feb. 2 at 5 p.m.

Hers was only a faint scratch of color

                  : a frosting, like true vanilla, melting

                                    eyelash into cheekbone,

                                    her monosyllabic laconicism, almost banal,

                  cloaking a delicacy of perception that I had perhaps dreamed or imagined.


Her white travels, sea-sounding before she was drowned by smoke and glass and metal,

          sent her from Jeonju, across the heart of a particular uniformed logician,

                                                       into the folded pages of my longing.


Together we watched swordfish and mantas,

          pearl danios, and neon tetras

    from the shores of our addiction.  I did not say,

          “It was you, my love, who opened the paint, brushing me against your palette.”

    And from that island of lotus alexin, she did not say,

          ‘There is me and moon-wind and ancient mummers.’


And though I still measure the cups that crowd into this kitchen of absence,

I have not forsaken the colors of joy and fish and exchanged pajamas.

Still, from time to time, I float toward her

breathing lemon grass,

watching the phosphorescence of memory.

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