Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirty-third Contest :: First Place Winner


Delayed Wishes

by Joséphine Sourgnes
The sky is above me, deep blue and so distant
Filled with the silver of dreams that will never be mine
It reminds me of you
Of all the things I have let pass me by
 
In the years you were there
I knew I could never have you
So I didn’t even try
Those bright things in life were never meant for me
I sat in a corner, looking at you all day
Whispering to myself
“I don’t even want him, I don’t even want him”
I convinced my heart it could live off the crumbs that fell from your pockets
The gazes that I stole
Like a poor beggar girl who won’t hold out her hand
Too proud and yet needy
Starving but reluctant
 
I never was good at catching chances
I watch trains slowly leave the station
A suitcase in my arms. A ticket crumpled in my fist
I yearn but I can’t get myself to grasp
Until it is too late, until it’s in the past
I act on regret but never on impulse
I deny my need, I push my hunger down
So I don’t have to ask, to plead, to require
I pretend I’m all right. Strong, cold, and inhumane 
So I never expect and I never suffer
 
I don’t set out to conceal or to lie
But I can’t say the words, I can’t let down my guard
I’m so good at this game I am blind to myself
I deceive my own mind into self-sufficiency
Until no one’s around, and I have lost it all 
I am only broken with your back turned on me
 
I can’t speak of my pain. Not in the present tense
I am only ever truthful in hindsight
I will choke on my pride before I ever bow
As long as I don’t crave, I don’t ever yield
And if I never cave, I never have to feel
It’s the rules of this farce that I play with myself
I will mourn in a year what I have lost today
 
I have spent a decade, looking up into the night
Watching the Earth revolve as I’m perfectly still
Breaking my neck by waiting for a sign
Yet I have missed so many shooting stars
I only make a wish on the faintest trails
The last dying sparkle before it is all dark
I’m a bad believer. I lack sufficient faith
I only beg to those blind, blackened skies
Only pray in the hollow hours
When no one can see and no one can hear
 
When you were there, I was silent and cold
I watched you walk away, chanting to myself
“I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine”
And only once you were fully gone
Once there wasn’t the smallest trace of you
I cried out in agony
Not your name, not a word
Just the soul-splitting scream of losing what you love
I have never touched you, I was closed and distant
Always late, always two steps behind
So I open my arms and embrace your absence
Another delayed wish, another overdue confession
One more failed attempt at catching a comet
I’m a bad believer. I simply cannot trust
I’ll keep nothing of you, just ash from your cigarette
My chance is gone. The train has left. The star has trailed past
And my hands are empty and covered in star dust

About the Author
Joséphine Sourgnes is a 22-year-old English major and aspiring poet from France. She frequently explores themes of love, memory, and trauma through her poetry and hopes to one day publish her own book. You can discover more from her at josy57.tumblr.com/tagged/art.
Second Place Winner
Blue Mountain Arts