This poem is the 1st place winner of the Sad Girls Club's 2023 Spring Poetry Contest.
1 Avian Lover
I sing to the barred owl
and she sings back
and she must know my voice
by its hollow imitation of
melancholy. Every August
we play this game and
I miss her
come crisp autumn October
when she’s found a real mate.
2 Bath House
Shitting properly is
an achievement when
and a half.
The sky has a tender blush today
and the sun is bereft of shadow.
Sleep is the wash cycle of
the great laundromat in my head.
I eat rice cakes and pretend they’re
candy. If I could sustain myself on chalk
alone perhaps I would comprehend
the grief of taste.
I march in cadence
with the frantic heartthrob of poison.
Grace Downey earned a Bachelor’s of English at Indiana University South Bend. Her poetry has appeared in The Oakland Arts Review, Analecta, and The Cape Rock. Her writing thematically explores LGBT issues, feminism, idolatry, and more. She is currently working on an adult fantasy novel about a succubus reclaiming her identity. You can find her on her website, graceadowney.com, and also on TikTok and Instagram under the handle @gracedowney404.