Winner, 2014 Greg Grummer Poetry Award
[paper]Say what you will about the car-choked
streets, how no one can walk on the sidewalks
because they are covered with cheap goods,
but all I see is how those fake Rolexes flashbulb
the afternoon into elsewhere. Button slogans
face the sky & say some things quietly forever.
Tattered paperbacks warm as lamb’s blood,
and the fast people snagged a little, slowing
down to drink in the set up, wherein conversation
is a bangle bracelet about to. Wherein covenant.
The honey locusts & spray paint are doing
their desperate part. Pretzels traced in salt so big
& stale & unafraid, bringing a little drudged sea
into the city. Taco me a dream & I’ll take it.
Madden the pigeons. With whatever watermelon
you can carry into the alleyways & cube.
Watercolor celebrities & skylines, I hear you,
your cat-like cry for the milk of all eyes upon you.
Knock-offs keep us close, clotted to the wound
of what we want but cannot afford, golden with
sweat and parcel. Barter be unto us:
it’s the sentient sun, kilos of sun, blinding curb-
service sun that vendors up this island. I am
under the influence. We, the walkers & hawkers,
are avatars of light, wingmen of that eternal garden
where we all have split tongues that keep
dawn lonsinger is the author of Whelm (winner of the 2012 Idaho Prize in Poetry). Her poems and lyric essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Guernica, Subtropics, Best New Poets 2010, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Utah, and is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Muhlenberg College, teaching courses in Creative Writing, Poetry & Politics, and Monstrosity & Apocalypse in Literature and Film. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, four Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes, Smartish Pace’s Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, the Scowcroft Prize in Prose chosen by Lydia Yuknavitch, the Utah Writers’ Contest in Prose chosen by Susan Steinberg, the Utah Writers’ Contest in Poetry chosen by Wayne Koestenbaum, and runner up for the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award. She is also an Assistant Poetry Editor for Anti- and Tupelo Quarterly. You can learn more about lonsinger’s work at www.dawnlonsinger.com. She, like other living organisms, has a thing for light.