2017 Bermuda Triangle Winners

Fran Markover

On the Fourth of July

I hold these truths
this sparkler
No Lady Liberty raising
her torch to huddled masses
just a sun-tanned picnicker
by a blaze of fireworks
while I wait for barbecue’s
scars, flesh against iron
and for one spangled moment

I think of flesh, bone, light
The mettle of one man
his slingshot a steely stance
against Goliath’s tanks
while ashes rise and scatter
from Tiananmen’s heart
like blackened butterflies

I picture the man who lugs
his cello into Sarajevo’s
streets, the harmony
of bombs at daily concerts,
codas of assault rifles not equal
to the ammunition of arpeggios
from the cellist’s poised hands

Did he play Bach cantatas
and did his notes
fly like frightened birds
into blood-red air
Did he bow toward his audience
brother against brother
blasé to the bravura
of so many falling stars

Contributor Notes

Kurt Luchs

Winter Begins

Pink, gray and blue is the breath
of the sun this morning,
my own fogging the windshield
from the inside, likewise icing
the surface of my thoughts
to a pure stillness.
Twenty-three degrees and falling,
falling to who-knows-what
in the middle of God-knows-where,
a cornfield miles out of town.
I am the only mammal
moving in this landscape,
and that’s only
if you count breathing.
But no, the mice must be busy too
on their underground railroad
to nowhere. Even though
I can’t see them, I can feel them
gnawing at the foundation of things,
dragging stray ears of corn
into the dark earth
as they prepare
to topple an empire.

Contributor Notes

Emily Rosello Mercurio

On The Conservation of Energy

Even wind must have beginnings,
a change in the weights of the sky,
a mounting pressure collapse, a pulse
of motion in the dormancy of air.

A change: In the weights of the sky
an equivalence shifts (the forming
of motion). In the dormancy of air
a storm quickens, starts to turn.

An equivalence shifts the forming
trade winds. In a Coriolis Force
a storm quickens, starts to turn
on the orbiting frame of Earth.

Trade winds in a Coriolis Force,
a mounting pressure collapse, a pulse
on the orbiting frame of Earth:
even wind must have beginnings.

From here you can see the waves
of mountains casting their shapes
against the sky. From here
you can see a hill traced by mist.
The day rises and rises again.

A stripe of trees climbs a vertical slope.
A tree hangs over a gorge, swaying.
A branch and a twig and a leaf and a drop
and a cricket ringing at dusk: a wave

of sound that makes a shape
against the air. In the lake a dark
stone settles into silt. In the wet
earth something is clawing for light.

A stripe of water rinses the day and I
have lived the circles of this instant.
A wave rises to swallow the wind
and crashes in hunger to the tide.

Contributor Notes