Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009


by Mary Dennis

Bells tell us to rise
and the shadow of God's hand
begins to move
over the city. It envelops
the place where the girls
with mandarin skin
disappear to burn
for a reasonable fee

the aroma of fresh-baked bread
that leaves a residual of warmth
on the chilled bodies
of passers-by
the market where Frau Tessler
screams the price of watermelon
pausing only to suck on the cigarette
at home between her talon fingers
the suits who sprout pursed lips
and regard empty roads
waiting for the red man
to let them walk
and comes to rest finally
upon the silhouette of my own form
saturating it utterly
until they merge as one.
I know that God and I
are conspiring in this act -
the burial of this ashen city
under a dense spread of divine shadow.

Added: 21.04.2009