Poetry -- 2nd Place 

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Bands of neon soldiers hold their swords


high, keep the booze-encrusted rows


ignited inside


as if to endure the heat coming off from track-


lit kindling and warn customers how


social reform often begins away from home.


The air out here is much cooler and better


for requiting feelings for the blind man


resting his polka-dot cane up against


an empty barrel of trash—its lid


serves as a display:


“The best nation in the world is a donation.”


No sunglasses hide the constant


equinox from pupil to retina


and handouts aren’t his specialty—


that’s what the chocolate bars are for.


White, almond, crackle, dark.


This order sticks constant. Something


like an enthusiastic nod can


distinguish the big bills from the ones


who smell of illumination and cheap liquor;


that societal compost for the tip-toeing sort.

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About The Author

Jeffrey Ingram

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