Honorable Mention: “We Are That-” by Steven Abell

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Falling diligently into background
noise; jumping puddles, back and forth.
We can hardly ever be where we’re going.
Our days stun into beginning, and then slowly end.
We strain against light, dip our arms in ink, and
duplicate characters, as we govern an constituent
emptiness. Constituent. The way rajahs, the way
emperors palely dreamed.
Inclined into exodus,


we are that which holds all pavement to the earth.
Ridden with song, we tire into garages, and are forced
to wonder at doorknobs. Who would climb into one of
our gullible ingresses to swipe the names and knick-

knacks from our shelves of finest timber? The bulb—
the porch-light burns pinker; our brass address seems
somehow upside-down. These burglars, learning the scream
of our birds, lifting bizarre confidences from the halcyon doors
of the fridge.
These are men that die, having never known the practiced touch
of a doctor. These robbers, these desperadoes, climbing across
hard-earned images, drop, like capes in the tropics. Good.
Who are these prowlers that treat the daytime like the nighttime?
What children. What nerve. Picture them: falling face-first
into bowls of banana soup, quietly dreaming of tornadoes.

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