The 2021 Industry Prize, 2nd Place Winner: I Tell My Mother I Don’t Think Trying to Get Pregnant During a Pandemic is Good Idea by Michelle Peñaloza
And here’s the 2nd Place Winner of the 2021 Industry Prize and $300, selected by judges Jenny Molberg of Pleaiedes Press and Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press. Please also enjoy the winning poem by Eduardo Martinez-Levya here. Stay tuned tomorrow the 3rd place poem by Anders Villani.
I TELL MY MOTHER I DON’T THINK TRYING TO GET PREGNANT DURING A PANDEMIC IS A GOOD IDEA
Everyone assumes we know how to love. Where did
you first learn (or did you ever)? In this blooming
a message: the bird which heals itself
is bandaged by an unseen hand. I asked
the earth to distill into one bone, into
the nadir of a mountain. I found buried there
my fear transformed into a jackrabbit
bounding away from me, an upside-down
heart moving across the Ouija board of this valley
reminding me that time is a floating island,
a menagerie of stars and crystals growing from children’s
play lab kits and nautilus lisps — I asked: child
or no child — and the apple gave me the gift
of four seeds, perfect wisdom if not
wooden—what is the difference between
earth and terra? The landscape unfolds, unspools
like a slow plume. The chrysalis is a crossroads.
A fat grub born every minute. The air fat
with feathers in this ceremony of eternal candles.
La luna changes her mind often—child or no child
—blooming a new face, unraveled ligature
unbound and unbothered.