Bless You

by Rishona Michael


I wonder if the devil actually tries to steal our hearts

when we sneeze. Or did my auntie make that up?

Maybe I sound dumb trying to save those

who don't need saving. Every Thursday          I see the same

conductor and wonder          if he sees me too. I was told

to look up when holding in a sneeze. All the things hanging

were swaying. All the things swaying were limp.

All my envy has placed me here. Beneath flickering lights      

holding my breath, afraid          I might accidently keep

giving my heart to Satan. Lucifer          like the planet Venus

I might have seen you today          holding a croissant in one hand and

coal in the other. The liquid between the train tracks

hydrating          dehydrated mice.  I do not know how

persistent you need to be          to seize your cravings

inhaling between chapped lips. But my heart wishes to

no longer walk upon cheap mirrors. Spring arrived a week ago            

fresh and unperturbed     doubling all the bulbs and all the snakes.

A mouse nibbles at your saliva          soaking between fangs.

Protection          in the mouth of a serpent          provided by a serpent.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes