by Best Poem
1. Homage to my Feet
I knew from the way you curled, maddeningly,
like a flower in the desert,
that everything would center on you,
leader of this wallowed body that lags behind.
And I knew from the way you arched wondrously,
that after positions one, two and three,
you would take me away like a bird
or maybe just a pedestrian plane.
2. Counting Years
The moon is a funny color tonight.
It turns crosshatches into spider webs
creating circles like
worry-lines on the neck
of your trunk.
I count them by twos,
sliding between your branches
to tally each year,
they are infinite.
3. Silence in the Rain
Your fingers are most silent in the rain
curling and uncurling as a lotus
to spell letters on me without refrain.
I pick them up from the volleyed panes
in my Cuban quilts and wardrobe bliss.
Your fingers are most silent in the rain,
as on me they dance into tribal stains
of men with no purpose, country-less,
only to spell letters on me without refrain.
But we are wearied, our bodies tamed.
The empty spaces now reminisce
your fingers being silent in the rain,
as in your room you sleep to train
for the day we can indulge our list
of letters to spell without refrain.
Tonight in bed I tussle our pain,
and chalk my ridges as bodiless,
like your fingers, most silent in the rain
to seep on me without refrain.
4. You Come to Me
Recently you come to me not only by smell,
but in syllables offered from strangers
for me to peel like oranges
and stick between my teeth;
the ridge between our mattress and the wall;
you are strongest in the lyrics of the bass.
I found your shoes sitting on the curb last night,
and wore them as my own in the morning.
I found hitchhikers in January last night,
and held their hand in the street.
Still, I never meant to eat images of us for breakfast,
like me dancing in New Delhi for you
or how our arms accounted for the baggage
that sat between us-
touching elbows when we were most full
and stomachs on days we were empty.
And all I came in to tell you was that,
I have eaten my first strawberry of the spring and,
if I made a trail of seeds between my door and yours,
would you follow it, please.
Samantha Reiser, a graduate of Stuyvesant high school, is currently studying English and American Literature at Harvard College. Her poem was an honorable mention winner of Random House’s High School poetry contest, and another poem will be published in Poetry in Performance 36. An avid reader and writer of poetry, she looks forward to future literary endeavors.