1st Place (Teen) - Oct 2012

ten miles south and six feet under


chafed by a lover's wind
on a cobblestoned street, nimble fingers moved to
tighten the red wool scarf draped
over a winter shadow's tense frame, a pigeon's beak
pecking stiffly between cracks in the street.

ten miles south, she used to live

on 'nother cobblestoned street, used to
sing with a cloth voice running down his body
like rivulets of rain sliding and catching on a
summer windowpane.


now ten miles into the horizon, a tombstone grew
cold like burnt treetops in the wake of sunset.

diluted blue of the morning drifted from the ocean

and the sky never felt lonelier.
a small boy wound his way
through the field of stones, light bare feet
picking up black dirt
and he never felt heavier.

the daisies never rose up against her grave

and the blue scarf wound round her neck
six feet under
was never looser than a noose
but she never made a peep, just slept
like the daisies.

the sun just kept rising, leaving

the city of knotted purple knees
and stillborn hearts choking
on last goodbyes.


he tried

to fix the cracks in
his body the way they cast broken bones
in white plaster but his heart couldn't
lie on the harsh pavement, blink
and be still.

he tried to fix the cracks in his veins

with the heat of a jumping spark, but
in the snowy inferno, his eyes whimpered
feebly at her ghost lacerating his bones
and he became
a pale flame licking
at the air then dying.

in the end, he left nothing

but a trail of watery smoke winding through the stars.

~ Janice Lee