Posted November 18, 2017.

2017 Fall Contest Winner: 2nd Place, New Poets

Cosmonaut’s Lament


Above her head

the stars,

bleary in their watchfulness


Under her feet

black offal,

of metal tang and smoke and char


Contrails unspool like strands of hair in zero G

and the cosmonaut thinks of

earthbound tidepools


little pockets of life

where there should be no life


Of her sweetheart, unclasping

a locket notched at her throat

when she sees a burning line unzip the sky


Of her mother and father, looking

to the strafed horizon

from the empty boardwalk


Am I their Lucifer,

the Heavens lost,

falling down to an embered earth


Or their Icarus,

spine twisting,

fused emptying breath and breezes lack?


The cosmonaut enters the breach

and Earth swings up like a steady sword

from a golden myth


little pockets of life

where there should be no life



Genevieve DeGuzman was born in the Philippines, raised in Southern California, and graduated from Columbia University. Her fiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Indigo Lit, LONTAR, Liminality, Rising Phoenix Review, Switchback, and AJ (now Tablet), among others. She has been awarded a residency at Can Serrat and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

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