By Caroline Ennis
some poets use fabric softener to paint their walls.
they eat silhouettes and digest them as sounds,
building them like cells into words.
some poets have pupils like bathtub drains;
the world is nothing but a sudsy whirlpool gurgling down
their optic nerves.
some poets ride around in nature like it’s a vehicle.
they say pine trees are like fierce arrowheads
and really mean they’re longing for the key
to secret storerooms where lost eons are ticking away,
where somewhere there’s a dust-ridden file cabinet full of
streambeds and stegosauruses.
they take on adjectives like feathered headdresses.
poets like to list things.
they pile words atop one another like stacks of firewood.
their minds are so much heat sitting cold by the back door, waiting.
some poets never understand that some words are outlets, some words are plugs.
some words are sex, some words are soul.
some poets go on and on, comparing glass to water, teeth to
fields of cotton, rain to curtains, sheets or walls.
they’ll use colors like fuschia or gunmetal.
they say things came apart in shards
when what they mean to say is simply
today, i hurt. i hurt.
Book Smart Challenge
Entries — either flash fiction or poetry — should be no more than 300 words. The deadline is the first business day of each month (for work to be published later that month). Contestants may submit up to three entries per month. LEO reserves the right to publish any submitted work in print and online. Send entries to [email protected], with “Book Smart Challenge” in the subject line, or mail to LEO, Book Smart Challenge, 640 S. Fourth St., Ste. 100, Louisville, KY 40202.