by Laurie Byro
Desert Moon Review
Second Place, January 2017
Judged by Sara Clancy

Living is a horizontal fall.      Jean Cocteau

Confession: I preferred the dark mystery
of a man’s body. The ox-horn, the bamboo, the phallic burn,

the saddle, the tamp of the mix. The jade of the fix, the heady inhale,
the sweet cloying scent, almost armpit, almost oozing rapture.

But it was a return to the rose that flattened me,
pricked my balls, it was a return to the stone bridge,

the herb garden, the cuckoo forest that finished me.
I never wanted to end. Each night like air, I denied the lavender

and sage, marjoram, saffron. I could resist all the temptation
sans amour dans sa vie, the slap of the dying rose. Wherever

she’s disappeared to I shall be that province’s bird.
The obvious blur of song that remains after she’s gone.

Beautiful, sensual and tactile, these images works on all the senses. I love beginning the poem with a confession and how the poem pivots from masculine to feminine at the herb garden, the reluctant voice following along to that perfectly realized and lovely ending. --Sara Clancy

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      by J.J. Williamson

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • December 2017 Winners

    • First Place

      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Abandoned Woman
      by Midnight Moon
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Taking a Tumble
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea