FIRST PLACE: Alive, Alight

By Elizabeth Grace Orrick

These summer nights make me cry.

Play me like a violin, you balmy breeze

Show me that Ferris wheel inside my chest

So long rusted over, and just now beginning to whirl,




Everything inside me glitters, tonight

Like those streetlights far below me, and I try so hard

To believe that all the heavens can really outshine this city

The kiss of dawn against my neck, the blaze of sunset inside me.


Once I wrote with scarlet pen

About Valentines and pain wrenching through me

Ripping off all my windows and pouring in, deep and dark

Murky and swirling around me, hair mermaid twisted.


But I am pulsing at your fingertips, bright.

After all this time, and all this pain

All I really feel now is




And that is enough.