Marin Poetry Center

College Bound

By Sonja Fish

Prompt #1: How does your heart beat?

I crack my chest
And spill myself to you
As instructed

Lifeforce churns
Under crackled ribs
That gleam like prison bars

Is it to keep me in
Or you out?

Prompt #2: Are you hurt?

I draw in rigid detail
The clawmark that runs
From shoulder blade to hip

Careful to balance
Pain, triumph, and normalcy
So you do not find inspiration
In my everyday

Memory almost as painful
As pain-filled reality

Prompt #3: What courses through your veins?

The poet’s heart
Aches at essay
Cheating on her first love

Grip my soul
Is it feather-light?
Tender like pomegranate seed
Too raw and staining

I carve myself up
To tell you what I am
Amongst what makes me whole

Prompt #4: Who are you?

I am fresh earth
And quarry worker
Welding backhoe and jackhammer
Til insides
Seen from outside
Press into diamond

I am at fault
In five to six hundred words

Prompt #5: What will you sacrifice?

I fillet myself
Into pieces you can chew

All wrapped in paper
Marked in permanence
For when winter turns dark
And you demand more of me

I grip what’s left
Knowing I’m expected to sell
And pray

Tell me.

Am I good enough for you?

Honorable Mention: Sonja Fish
Marin School of the Arts

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