Poetry 2nd Place – Literary LEO 2015


by Emmaly Saliga


Everyone is fat

in the candy aisle, in lawn chairs tipped back
like a kid class act, clown, crash
cream-colored bell bottoms are a palette for pepto-bismol

makes you puke like pepsi makes you burp the alphabet
bet me ten bucks you can; your easy bake oven can-can
gulps air and spits out sugar sadness
It comes in eight colors but it still feels gritty on your tongue

Everyone is rotting

like great quantities of sea air and dense branches
Translates to sink golden into the ground
The pain in your body goes to heaven with the victims

lucid and moaning from fetal position to skeleton excavations
of a thin young woman in between went to heaven
with the investment bankers who lied and cheated and went to church
and took their wives to see the rockettes kick
their seamless pantyhose parade when the snow lay thick outside

Everyone is taken into the asylum

All that’s there is charity, a shanked sense of ball and chain
when a missionary woman knocks on the door, says you’re crazy.
Tell her mad daddy runs the place, it’s not your fault your mind is filled
with hazy

half-meanings that light up and sputter out like the lazy liquor-store sign
at 1:00 am and tell her it smells like powder like you’re coughing all the time
inside its dusty, musky, musty–it smells like her denial
when the portrait of god you’re painting inside has eyes
like blue summer dusk and turns its back on you