Angela Stith

First Place, Poetry

 

 

Still

 

 

He keeps pictures of her:

crisp grayscale snapshots.

The slant of her eyes,

The slope of her nose;

He keeps them there, in still-frame.

 

He remembers taking them

like stolen moments:

each picture asked for.

Given freely

without any thought to its worth.

 

He has the pictures,

which is good enough,

so he doesn't need to look at them

often.

 

But when he does,

he always looks at the last

for the longest.

 

A candid, outside in spring:

Dark mouth-mark on her neck,

and the muscled arm about her shoulders

is his best friend's.

 

He doesn't look at the pictures often,

but he keeps them just the same.

 

--

 

 

 

Seeing a photograph

 

 

The angles of the building and the light

obstructed by it.

You think if you could take

a black and white photograph,

you would.

 

You used to write stupid poems

about being a triangle

(which you aren't, really.)

because the angles made you feel safe.

 

And now you look at a building,

stark and imposing,

and it probably isn't beautiful at all.

But in high-contrast black and white,

it could be.

 

--

 

 

 

Bare

 

I had a dream that I kissed you,

and then peeled off your skin

because I wanted to know

what it was like to live inside you,

 

and the stark slick-purple

of your muscles was entrancing,

so I traced their lines

until my fingertips were soaked red.

 

My tongue wanted to taste

(even though Iím a vegetarian)

because I wanted to know--

wanted to know you.

 

Instead, I tried to find your heart,

to hold it in my palms,

but even when my arms

were slicked black with blood

 

it was not mine.