“Found: Lines by a Young Poetess, Age 14”

(honorable mention)

Sarah Bodeau

Glist’ning cerulean syllables
Dainty, diaphanous diatribe
Pretty and puerile playthings –

These words, these lies –
these are not events.
These are scratches in a smudged discount notebook,
an inexact existence contained between two dingy covers.
But Oh! to look past the farthest marches of the world!
Except the telescope is just a paper toweling tube
and the crudely drawn map is based on a mistaken horizon,
a distant crack in the kitchen plaster.

I check my location and find
the sextant has rusted over
and the old compass points only inward.
It is time to stash this antiquated cartography
and keep walking –
already I am ten paces past the vanishing point.

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