Poetry Spring 2017, Second Place: “Divorce” by Carl Boon

We received an extraordinary number of amazing submission for our first poetry contest of the year, and it took much hard work from our amazing staff to make the final decisions. Congratulations to Carl Boon for taking second place in the Spring Poetry Contest of 2017! 

To Mother she wants
the almost-moon, the almost-flower
where she left her shoes.
Passersby pity her English,
but she makes worlds for them,
narratives that come
when Father goes:
a whore is (not) a woman
in a wine-soaked gown;
criminals play roles,
eat circumspect bread.
That’s an almost-church,
she notes, this glass allows light,
but not the truth
of who we are, on almost-bikes
working through the mist
where Father surrendered
and Mother grew wise.
She gathers the fraught
to make stories, almost-stories
to make her whole. She knows—
a kerchief around a throat
conceals a scar, a ladder in the past
has fallen, will fall again.
All the dishes on the table,
the furniture in her room,
almost-things, an almost-family.
She has ways to make
her own scars heal.


Carl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at 9 Eylül University. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Burnt Pine, Two Peach, Lunch Ticket, and Poetry Quarterly. He is also a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.

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