By Amo O'Neil
This is an empty room called loneliness
with still air and cold walls.
There is just one window
and when I look out, I can see vast night
with a hole where the moon should be.
Through that hole I can see a single moth, fluttering
like a dropped handkerchief.
Will you linger there?
There is an abandoned church called loneliness
where I sit in the fourth pew, waiting for the pastor.
There is no crackling jazz on vinyl, or sunbursts of trumpets.
Instead the organ in the corner plays an old hymn I used
Will you sing its praises?
This a broken radio called loneliness
and all it ever plays is static
except every now and then during the in-between time,
when everyone should be asleep,
I hear the off-kilter music of an old broken-down carousel.
I hear the tinkling melodies long after even the echoes have
Will you listen to it?
This is a bare body called loneliness
with black glass for skin and eyes like desert nights.
The place I'm supposed to fit is scooped hollow;
under my skin is a hungry abyss,
and it's in everyone, a gaping maw that eats away at us
until we are left clutching at what has been taken.
Will you let it feed?
Second Place: Amo O'Neil