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by Peter Koronakos

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Danusha Laméris

First Prize Winner
of the
2013 Morton Marcus Poetry Contest

Riding Bareback

We rode all afternoon along the barren creek bed
jumping boulders, kicking up dust, clutching the coarse manes.
I wrapped my thin thighs around the bulging sides
and hung on. It didn’t matter there were horse flies,
heat, the itch against our legs, the dry grass full of ticks
and ready to catch fire. We were ten years old and flying
past fields fringed with oak and aspen, held skyward---
the earth­­, its rough stones and clumps of nettle---
weightless below. For a while, we’d forget
our spiral notebooks covered in glittered stickers,
the careful shape of the words we etched inside,
the sardine can of the yellow bus where boys
elbowed us in the ribs, grazing the small cones of our breasts.
Whatever it was our fathers drank from the bottles
they kept above the sink, whatever our mothers cursed
as they soaked the dirty dishes, straightened the sheets,
we were beyond it now, crashing down into the empty creek,
only to lift back up into the summer air.
We were that light, that far outside the laws of gravity.
Nothing could touch us.

Danusha Laméris’s work has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, The Sun and Crab Orchard Review as well as in a variety of other journals. Her poems have also appeared in the anthologies In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare, A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens, and Intimate Kisses. She was a finalist for the 2010 and 2012 New Letters Prize in poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first book, The Moons of August, was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press poetry prize, and is set for release in early 2014. She lives in Santa Cruz, California and teaches an ongoing poetry workshop."

Salon Fiction
Kit Anderton
Jo-Ann Birch
Paola Bruni
Dixie Cox
Diane Craddock
Pat Charlotte Grayson
Clifford Henderson
Duke Houston
Helene Simkin Jara
Nancy Krusoe
Jory Post
D. L. Sansone
Jeanne Rosen Sofen

Morton Marcus Poetry Contest:
First Prize
Danusha Lameris

Morton Marcus Poetry Contest:
Dane Cervine

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