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Young Adult Poetry Contest Winners

There were two winners of the 2017 Young Adult Poetry Contest. Thanks to all who participated!

[love’s (the) national pastime]
  by Kaixing C., age 16

oh dear.
he's a heartthrob
and throb, throb indeed that
      bleeding underused overabruised
heart of yours goes

your love, you've

vehemently told yourself, is not.

you believe in trust, in
knowing someone well before you move /race///
past first base, but
           first base,           second base,           third base (might as well)
                     be in sight, where's home, home, home

home run? capricious indeed

look at him, though
they say (whisper hidden behind translucent walls that
               never, ever hide their greed nor their gossip)
     eyes are the windows to the soul
and can you say no
     actually, can you say anything at all?
to those precious baby blues?

they scream innocence, a sort of
//lazy summer, cozy winter, snuggles in the dark
type of surreal incandescence, and
     you know, you kNOW

that if you continue on this train of thought
even that fabled vocabulary of yours will

screeEEECCCHHH to a halt

guess it did

but that doesn't matter, he's looking this way
//he, heartthrob, you, heart throbs

you're up to base, pitcher smirks and
———his arm winds, winds, winds, releases

the ball flies! right past you
you, who haven't even raised your bat, and
you hadn't noticed, but the
RIGHT behind you
[he was ready] mitt up and smirks galore
the ball is his

the heartthrob smiles
//perfect lips, hair like fine-spun gold
(uh... girl,
superimposing disney princes will do you no good)
wraps his
around the shoulders of
another boy.

the ball is his.

lol, that ball struck you out, and
the game is played and won.
just not by you.

Verba a Morte
  by Abigail R., age 19

I am blind. 

I cannot see past

I choke
on a question mark

and grasp hold
of a comma  
and wonder if
I’ll ever reach
the next page.

A vowel 
wraps its hands
around my neck,
while a consonant
digs its fingers
into my skin. 

My bruises 
form sentences
and my veins
bleed in phrases
and my back
with the weight
of it all.

I am silenced
by two parenthesis
enclosing me
in a single story.

I am drowning

in all the words

I will never say.