morning is the master of exchanges of fluids myself or others.
Life is a single squeeze both ends of both fruits.
Jerk me hands free top end of a Ball Jar a hinge of plastic.
Bring me to the end of the straw, up/down over again
mix it/mix me to the end of hell.
2nd Place ‘Newborn’ by Adam Smith
There’s nothing wrong. You lie as though dreaming of weightlessness, with the horror of stillness in the shadowed corner. The bili light aids your recovery, our body parts yellow in pallor. A respirator fills your lungs. You are so palm-small. Breaths from my mouth, speaking sounds neither of us understand, in your eyes must cataract my face as I place kisses from chapped lips onto the incubator wall. Your opened door now lets me in. Thank you, nurse, who places you so delicately pale inside, illustrating neonatal hyperbilirubenemia; the strange words as big as giants in a nightmare. I’m afraid to say your name and to look at this reflection, shivering in the glass, it seems, at the knees. I am standing here unravelling.
1st Place ‘Fortune Cookie’ by Vicki Mowat
Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.
All my talents? Because they are many and varied I can balance a spoon on my nose I can turn the bathtub faucet off with my toes I can sing off key to almost any song created I can clean the toilet without complaining (that’s a lie)
I can lie, occasionally without detection I can watch the sky for hours I can lie in my hammock, making the old oak creak I can kill my brother’s houseplants while keeping mine alive I can do one deke in soccer I can listen to the leaves rustle in the wind and feel beauty all around me
I can sit still while a bee buzzes around my head I can fall in love with someone imaginary Are there rewards for any of that? I await recognition.
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