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The 2013 Amy Award recipients are Desiree Bailey, Emily Barton, Nabila Lovelace, and Shireen Madon. Below are excerpts from their winning entries.
Wherever The Ashes May Be
I am trying to bury your jaw
opened from hinges
hacked by hatchet
string of pearls rising
from a shipwreck
the last howl of sun
last lap of sequined parade
last gasp of eyelid
I am trying to bury the tube
that wormed its way
the taunt of foods
you would never taste again
your hand stiff
like a worn novena
gnarled choreography of your face
You are the flambeau
against its bottle
throwing your crotch
in the mouth
of a motorcycle
til it blows away
Desiree Bailey was born in Trinidad and Tobago and has called Queens, NY a second home for many years. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in English and then moved to Cape Town, South Africa through the Princeton in Africa Fellowship. She is a 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow and will begin an MFA in fiction at Brown University in the fall of 2013.
Nothing, then — a void sealed, waiting to vent
its volcanic, receding rhyme; cracked, halved,
but smooth, new — “repurposed.” Let it not bend
or lead back to where it began. Unsolved,
let it remain but not as remains. To
follow fissures to their logical drains
would be to repeat, as if weeping, blue
eyes and capillaries — the color stains
and never quite fades. Your fragile limit
already wavers and beats its pulse on
pulse — steady, as your hand and its kismet
grasp levels sound, rising to pitch upon
the second guess, reaching only to find
what is there is not what was left behind.
First published in Wicked Alice, July 2013.
Emily Barton is a graduate of the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at New York University. She serves as the Managing Editor for Washington Square Review, and has previously worked for Another Chicago Magazine and the Michigan Quarterly Review. She lives in Brooklyn.
is so much Jesus
That my mother
By the holy water
of her womb.
So much Jesus
that her throat
was a staircase
But in church they said,
Jesus was a man.
So I thought,
was Jesus, because
he fumbled his
blood into wine;
fashioned a keg
out of the legs
of his wooden table
and drank from
He was the kind
of drunk that
made my Aunt
wrap the breakables
in newspaper and
place them in
the closet. The kind
that morphed her
mouth into a kitchen
drawer of knives.
he used his
sons body as a
for the wall,
I then learned
that drunk men
are not Jesus,
Nabila Lovelace is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. Her parents hail from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria. She is a graduate of Emory University, where she majored in History with a concentration in Latin America and the Non-Western World and minored in African American studies.
No Fabliau for Love
Who we need we need with lengths of wool. Who we need we need with Moorish
winds, with leavened loaves a young boy bicycles home before the morning’s thimble
of prayer. Who we need we shed our skins for, our black fallen shapes left earthy anecdotes
in desert. Who we need we migrate with the bee eaters to, taste cherries from tree to tree—
more sour to the North, when North moves farther each year. Who we need we need
with a coast of Aleppo pine, a woman resting beneath the pine whispering in veiled sleep
the world imagined is the ultimate good. Who we need we fall to with birds of paradise pecking
our eyes till we are numb and begging for mercy. We are evenings for whom we need. We
are ablaze for whom we need. Who we need we need with the gold of green, with whiff
of semolina and honey of the day’s first bread.
First published in The Journal.
Shireen Madon holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Bennett Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared in Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Barnstorm, The Journal, and elsewhere.