Poetry Runner-up, Lilly Barels

Poetry Runner-up, Lilly Barels / The Thirty-First Year

It’s still summer and she is out for a late walk: primitive purples, cicada violins. There is voodoo

in the moon. Which is why her lungs are webbed, why the winged wolves

pour their sweet elixirs. The night litters the living trail with stars. Reassuring,

really, how the dark-lashed pixie wears her badge of risk, moves

to a rhythm of rootlessness as she unbraids the trees. Haloed, smoothing the moon’s craters,

she holds his remembered breath in her curls–awake.

What is the half-life of heartache? Each thought a parentheses,

the potential for loss. Loss potential for color, for electromagnetic radiation or impossibly

whole light.

Meet the Judges: Janine Oshiro is the author of Pier, found at [alicejamesbooks.org], $15.95. She teaches English at Windward Community College. Craig Santos Perez is the author of from unincorporated territory found at [tinfishpress.com], $15. He teaches Pacific literature and creative writing at UH–Manoa.