“Bartender”–Brionka Judd

Honorable Mention, Poetry

In a crowded bar full of animated people, my eyes were transfixed on you as you darted back and forth taking drink orders and then making them.

My mouth ran dry at the thought of even talking to you; I’m afraid that if I do, things might come out a bit too eccentric.

I just want so desperately to tell you how wonderful I think you are.

That when I look at you, I see art. I see things that this world should be doused in: brilliance, peace, and beauty.

I want to tell you that you look like vinyl records and classic books, someone who existed years ago.

Maybe one day I’ll spit these words out like sunflower seeds but until then, I’m content with keep these lips stitched shut as you absentmindedly stir up wildfires in the coldest parts of me.