Black Man Carrying Alligator Briefcase

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, February 2008
Judged by Fleda Brown


Only I know how my heart feels,
to lose from the beginning
and gain slowly, to give away
with both hands.
To enter rooms that fall silent.
The withering looks
and absentminded curiosity.
I listen, but fail to speak.

The cascading loneliness,
the deluge of expectations,
the grades and judgments
which leave me empty.

The feeling is not new,
but expressing the feeling is new;
I write more often in my diary book,
scribble to myself, gawk at myself,
fix a permanent record of what I know.

I smile like a man from the country
wearing the wrong clothes in the city.
Or when you leave work early
but miss your train and rest
on a bench in the idle station.



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      Second Place

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      Third Place

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