Editors' Prize-Winning Poems.
Congratulations to the winners of the Editors' Prize for Emerging Poets. Out of each issue, the editors select poets who show exceptional promise. The recipients of the Editor's Prize for the issue 34.1 are Rosalie Moffett, Talia Bloch, and Rodney Wilhite.
New Evidence of Water
It was a mistake, perhaps,
to pick the most loyal breed of dog.
The day, after all, is always breaking
into two or more pieces: war,
postwar, etc. We occupy ourselves,
the dog and I, with the news
of our incredible luck: our tiny orbit
at the perfect distance from the sun
where water is neither frozen
nor steam. Everything else
is an uninhabitable zone.
Which must be what I’m looking at every time
I look into the distance, or into the laptop
which is a kind of distance, its own
not only into space, but also
of a gutted tank, of a woman in a green dress
climbing out of a pile of cinder blocks.
The buildings on earth seem to be either
flattened or huge, depending. In other news, the horizon
has a nick in it, which means there may
have been water, once, on the moon. On TV
a boat parts the great Pacific trash vortex
only for a second. I think we must
want to leave
except gravity so loves us we can’t
help but love the world
we made and all its shadows.
One follows me around
like a dog.
The China Dolls
Take out the China dolls, Lily,
and place them, side by side,
upon the kitchen table.
Take them out slowly,
carefully. Prop them up,
look at them and sigh.
They are a man and a woman,
looking not quite old,
but no longer young.
One of them has a broken heart.
Wherever you go,
you carry them with you. You carry them,
Lily, just to go to the corner
for some milk; you carry them.
They are your inheritance.
Three months after the child drowned
she found a wadded diaper behind the couch,
its odorless deposit a rattling stone.
After that, her complex was to scrub the floors,
to bag the trash, to mop, to feed the hens.
There were no phone calls from Kuwait,
just the monthly Western Union moneygrams.
Jokes on candy wrappers, minted wax fangs—
she dragged garbage bags-full to the burnpile.
One night she stole her uncle’s smokes and drank
warm Busch Light in the yard. Dim houselights flecked
the hillside across the valley. Distant
dogs barked at her presence. Other dogs answered,
causing the restive horse to shy in the dark.