Poetry Contest Winner, Third Prize, Spring/Summer 2023

Kelli Lage

In Case I Ever End Up on a True Crime Podcast

Sun did not earmark me its stunt double
when I sauntered past living bodies.

In fact, no one noticed me entering a room.
If they had, I’d be consumed with the thought
it’s because they’re trying to measure
the weight of my lifetime
by unsewing and resewing my dress.

Speaking ill of my fevers.

Songs I played in the background pierced tongues.
Dreams I bore flooded off-gravel ponds.
My reality laid in rural fields
and teaching in small-town classrooms.

I buried secrets in my husband’s pockets,
not trusting anyone else
to carry them back to me.