Debris

by Ashura
Pen Shells
Third Place, October 2008
Judged by Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald


Wong
has no name of favor, but is called
for convenience the way a hill
is climbed or a floor
swept. She will not revere
your gods or walk
the guidance of your hands
When you turn her head she will resist
your intensity, your compulsions
And when your fingers stir
debris from your pockets
her exit will be
impersonal

Somewhere
on the cusp of her breath
there is tremolo
She hands it with flowers and a plastic
bucket filled with medicines to
the men in saffron who drip water
on her temples
and chant

while you wait on
the steps with her
shoes


This poem has a wonderful flow to it. There is something mysterious and fetching about it. It keeps the reader engaged and curious. --Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald

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