Tsang Poetry Prize Winning Poe


Chloe Selavka, Contributor



When I write about you,

I like to imagine I’m painting.

For your hair, I use sandy colors from a beach people venture to even in winter

but I make sure every strand is perfectly placed with a summer breeze.


I tumble into creating your eyes

using blues and hazels that I stole from the sky and the trees,

and scenery that blended together outside my car window.


My hands craft your mouth into perfection,

using colors like burnt bubblegum and happiness

and force the ends to curl upwards,

looking like the way I have them memorized.


The flush up your neck

is made of sounds that fall out of a robins mouth outside my window

and the petals I pulled off a tulip

when I was wishing that you loved me,

and wondering if you loved me not.


Shaping your shoulders,

I make sure to take away all the heavy,

and lift them above all the thunder

and gunshots,

and give them wings

so they can do that for themselves anytime they sink too low.  


In your arms, I make sure to scrawl veins,

so people start remembering that you have a heart

and stop breaking it.


I write love lines and dances and deserts and dandelions into your hands

because they carry sunshine,

whether you mean to take it with you or not.


There are stars in your fingertips

(and bursting out of them)

because I’ve always had a strong belief that you were made by the night sky

and will go back there one day as a constellation

named after peonies and waltzes and acoustic guitars.


Your knees are always strong.

and I infuse them with words like

“stable” and “solid”

so they don’t buckle like mine do

when your burnt bubblegum lips

and robin’s chirps cheeks

and dandelion hands

cross my vision.


I paint springs into your feet

so there’s a skip in your step,

and trace melodies into your toes

so you can carry music with you

on your journey to find a soft place to land,

even though I am only a short distance away.