Poetry Award

from Clarion #0 1998
(the issue entitled "?")
Josette Akresh

So what are the causes of craziness and
When you diagnose me do you
Realize that you are causing
The very disease you claim to have found?
You have created it, grown it,
Let it take over, and
You try to cure me
But in telling me I am sick
you only cause the seed to bloom,
A twelve foot blossom
that I believe is in my head,
and the watermelon swelling is in my stomach,
Large and red,
you can squish your fingers through the pulp,
Rake your nails through my insides
and pull out the obvious black flaws
As I weather the insulting wind,
shrinking from want, parched, and soon
I will wither;
I will forget what droplets
Feel like as they caress my dull skin;
I am dry, my mind is diseased,
What you have said is me
has absorbed into me, as
you have made me all that I have become;
My fantasy sustains me, my
Petals now weigh down in the downpour,
my eyes shut to the water
as it slaps my face,
the felt red running
and my leaves held up praying
To the God of Rain
my veins absorbing it all,
Surging, pumping it quickly to the top,
Now it flushes my head
I am swooning and alive
you can smell pleasure on me
And when the returns
it is warm and enveloping, embracing,
It puts me to rest and soothes and I am so very
But I am not crazy, no I am
A beautiful woman,
Roots and petals and fruit,
My face to the sun and my feet in the mud.
I am rational and sane,
though you choose to ignore it.
In my mind I am a Goddess,
Though I pray, always, as the lowest of the low.

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