Posted November 22, 2020.

Second Place Poem in Poet’s Choice Category

Second Place in Poet’s Choice: “Temenos” by Alicia Byrne Keane

is the name of the surgery,
the street is a jeweled neatness
of bookshops,

I know the doctor’s number
off by heart and I can’t afford this
synesthesia of fours and nines
showing up yellow ochre
or plum-bruised
in the clang
dread makes.

Ringing the doorbell
becomes a remembered tree-shadow:
we’ve entered the adjacency,
unwrapping a grove
from taut silence,

I know the doctor’s number
off by heart although I shouldn’t,
the rules don’t apply here
in the unresolved:

my fear something
I scramble to reach the edges of,
cloth in wind.
Assess the parameters
of what is hallowed;

walk the shell-pink edge of a diagnosis
that seems either terrible
or nothing at all,
depending
on the

shapes
of newly-spun
branches stilling the blue

above you
as you
drive home

Poet’s Bio: I am a PhD student from Dublin, Ireland. I have a first class honours degree
in English Literature and French from Trinity College Dublin and a MSt. in English Literature 1900- present from Oxford University. My poems and short fiction have previously been published in journals such as The Moth, Entropy, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Toho Journal, LuckyJefferson, and others. I delightedly follow the Oregon Poetry Association for many reasons including your diverse focus, your encouragement of an interdisciplinary view of the arts, and the vivid originality of thecontest-winner poems published here.

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