Two Poems by Connie Meng, first place winner,
The College Alumni Society Prizes, 2007

Vessel

In my future, I expect
a hospital bed waits for the day
my arteries constrict a little
too much; or my heart, not having lost
its will, faces the mutiny
it knew would come.

Maybe that night, sleepless,
I will remember the blue-gray
feathers of a pigeon fallen
on a sidewalk, its thick wings
grotesque and hollow, and the way
my foot stopped
when I realized how close

I'd come. No warmth there,
no quiver of breath, no testimony
of rise and fall. Before the next dawn,
someone had lifted it into a nearby
bin, burying in black plastic
the flutter of wings.

How to live knowing what awaits?
Twenty years, or ten or five -
each blinking, breathing moment
changing everything.



tell me as the dances go

cathedral in the morning,
cinders at moon. & eyelashes
awhirl like dandelions.
here, gowns over grass,
here, barefoot and brilliant,
here, eminence.
child, come and tarantella
through the aqueous night.
barter pearls for rubies,
sing these marvels:
the green of the swallow,
the twirl of sunbeams under
the kaleidoscope of leaves,
the end of love.
rip the strands from your neck,
fling them heavenward,
say yes. yes, xylophone,
marimba, glockenspiel,
yes, arm of wind, yes
you fools,
fly.