1st Place: ‘Bullaun’ by Dúnlaith Bird

You have a bullaun in the small of your back, a smooth hollow of soft, scarred skin. Theytook out one of your vertebrae when you were a baby so that you could walk, and it left a holethat a stone could spin in, terrible and tender to look at. An inverted peach, a peach-pit, blush-pink.Continue reading “1st Place: ‘Bullaun’ by Dúnlaith Bird”

Runner Up: ‘The Doll Father’ by Dara Yen Elerath

father My daughter stitched me from cloth; she used a thumbtack for a nose and yarn for arms. Then she abandoned me in this closet. Outside the door she watches screens all night and does not see how my button eyes gleam here in the dark. If only she had given me hands instead ofContinue reading “Runner Up: ‘The Doll Father’ by Dara Yen Elerath”

Runner Up: ‘Might’ by Alex Durac

There were boats, I think. I can’t remember. I remember seeing one or two during theday, peering through the haze like sleepy, waking eyes. Fuzzy. In my mind they’re likemirages, covered in clouds and dark sea mist. I’m not really sure how much I’m imaginingthem, though. There may have been none at all. There wereContinue reading “Runner Up: ‘Might’ by Alex Durac”

1st Place: ‘You and I’ by Niamh Busby

I saw you on the train yesterday.  I haven’t seen you since junior school; since GCSEs and the endless clouds of Linx and stifling assembly halls. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to recognise you, to actually see you. Ten years can change people in many ways but you more than most, youContinue reading “1st Place: ‘You and I’ by Niamh Busby”