Sept/Oct 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 5 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize |

Ghost Town, Ohio

Runner-up2021 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers Anything can be a spinning tire or anything can be a dead endspeckled with spit or anything can be a memorialif you look hard enough. So I name this town, the hunger of its dogs. I search for scuff marks on the statues,take them as evidence of the living. Hear the rain againstan abandoned roof and think of the water on my father’s hands ten years ago, his head bent in the sinkafter a day at the factory, scrubbing and scrubbinguntil his foreign skin dissolved. Like him, I enter the horizon and promise to keep quiet. I circlethe map where my parents grew up, circle the town beggingfor someone to reply. I bless the doe sleeping on the road before I see she’s full of bullets. I whisper my namein a church and call the echo my ancestor, angelsmacking her lips on the hard syllables. The dogs bark but do not get up to beg. My father gave methe posture of a guillotine, ready alwaysfor the war years. I have an a

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Gaia Rajan’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry, Muzzle Magazine, DIALOGIST, Split Lip Magazine, diode, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Moth Funerals, is out now from Glass Poetry Press, and she is a two-time National Student Poet semifinalist. You can find her online at gaiarajanwrites.com or at @gaia_writes on Twitter.

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Golden

By Daniel Zhang

Runner-up2021 Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers Anything can be a spinning tire or anything can be a dead endspeckled with spit or anything can be a memorialif you […]

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