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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