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winning submissions & honorable mention pieces

Honorable Mention: Hemlock

October 22, 2017

Give me bile,
throat-cast to scald the tongue,
the lips, the esophagus,
the peach skin of my eyelids
closed to the images from
the stories my father
read from the newspaper of
the tragedy of Socrates
written in statistical hemlock


It comes up from my stomach
and into the world through
a cracked-clay mouth with
speech like desert rain,
the whips cracking against my skull


This is the art of dying in electrical impulses


The vision of my body
dripping with chocolate
in a black and white film,
the knife wound clear to see


I am cancer clacking
its claws along the shore


So pierce my tongue and
slip a desperate hope through
the slot to drag me along
the foothills and up to the summit


Feel free to leave me
to crawl the final thousand
yards on my own;
I assure you, I can make it.


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@2017 by Aimee Murphy and Encounter Youniverse project collaborators.