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2nd Place Summer Poetry Contest Winner: Chapter One - Cynthia Rausch Allar

Why do you ask? I bring up your double

life, and laugh, unsure how to tell you the flavor

of my feelings, unfamiliar, how quickly it’s come

to this—spun-sugar thin on lack of sleep,

waking at five each morning savoring beautiful,

you in my head, your rich soprano allure—

eye candy, you said, but without the smarm—

knowing I want you and you want me

so gender won’t matter, my new philosophy

says take sweet surety on my tongue and swallow—

so I laugh and say I’ve let my slit skirt fall away

from my legs on purpose,

the words carried on the air between us,

heady, like the scent of chocolate. You thank me, but say no.


Cynthia Rausch Allar studied under Molly Peacock and Greg Pape at Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University. Her work has previously been published in Mad Poets Review, New Millennium Writingsvening Street Review, Off the Rocks, Paper Street, and others. Her chapbook, “Deviant,” was recently published by Seven Kitchens Press.

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