Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award 2023

the story I’m telling myself is . . .

after Brené Brown

no one intervenes.

call me a dead thing.
only then will you find
          no flaws.

steal my voice box. stuff it in
a letter like you’re spinning wildly
in a high slit. how dangerous.
send the lexicon spiraling
into satin luxury, won’t you
stalk me to silence

              until anthem turns dirge.
raise the statue of my mistakes
discarded pointe shoes and pink ribbons, then grab
a mirror, a hammer, and a dream with your teeth
it is you who refuse the dentist’s tricks.

     I’m sorry. I require more mistakes.

                             you’re too good
too good to dodge this dress rehearsal of tragedy
really how sad to squander even a second of joy

     I don’t deserve it.
     I denounce myself.

            you may have this dance.

poem by Bianca Amira Zanella

The Corinne Eastman Davis Award and the Arthur Wallace Peach Memorial Award are given for the best poem in the current issue of The Mountain Troubadour.