3rd Place (Teen) - July 2013


It comes pouring out of me-

Spilled, like so much blood,
This unabating itch that shudders
through my bones
and fingertips, purple in its
electricity and fire. It comes
to erase my body’s gentle throbs,
to pound my heart’s new rhythm.

I ache
spitting and choking
on all my words,
wound far too tight to scream.
Sometimes I’m blessed,
or cursed- Possessed
by the thunder and the rain
of the pen across the page.

Who are you, vicious child?
Pulled out of me, so sweet and raw.
You, who pluck away at my ribs
to lay fingers on my heart.

And I didn’t ask-
I’ve never asked-

Still, you come knocking at my door.
You come scratching though the cracks
to shatter restive sleep,
and dance your madness through me.

Tonya Sutherland