Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirtieth Contest :: Third Place Winner

sprinkles in chocolate milk

by Kayli Burton
it smells like the beginning of summer
when the frost is melted by the warmth of the sun

an aroma of lonely friendships,
like damp porch steps and poking holes in paper with sharpies

it smells like newly washed pajamas
and apple sauce turned brown from cinnamon

it brings me back to when we stuffed pine cones in our ears
to muffle the sounds of screaming mothers and sisters

cradling wild birds with steam from our mugs of hot chocolate
running outside, wet concrete seeping into the pads of our feet
laughter kissing our lips
getting strength from tear-smeared text messages

she had hair of gold dipped in soil
we were teasing dolls till the cornhusk people grew toddler pouts

like birds perched by each other’s side
rolling across the calves of Scotland
reading stories of ghosts as we made ourselves dizzy on swing sets

we watched comets of golden retrievers run across cracked tar
and a girl chasing them while choking on the bubbles in lake water

climbing trees with needles as stems
to smell the lemongrass in the middle of the woods
aching to turn into the fairies who slept in abandoned houses

then, gargling ginger ale like holy water and eating sugar cubes like medicine
we mixed all the spices in my cupboard into a potion to make us witches
with crystal balls and hand-drawn tarot cards hidden in our backpacks

we drew on our lips each morning so people would stop asking us our opinion
we took pride in our eyes being more active than our tongues

the two minds of luminescent orbs
and when the bus steadied its rattling wheels
we unscrewed our scalps to show each other how brightly our thoughts could shine

I miss how laughter shrank our lungs
and how dog tails rubbed our skin soft
Second Place WinnerHonorable Mention
Blue Mountain Arts