Poets for Human Rights announces the Annual Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest

I am happy to report that I won this contest with the poem below:


Sirhan does your  honor

lie between a woman’s legs?


When you raised your magnum

to your sister’s temples

and watched

the bullet enter the soft white skin,

below the dark hairline of her forehead,

saw its damage spread like a purple bruise

across her face,

disintegrating her features into

a mass of shattered bone fragments

and crimson rose petals

did you rejoice?  Lift your fist

heavenward towards Allah, as her body

slumped sideways away from you

across the faded blue couch of your childhood,

gently lying in its innocence,

doubly betrayed.


Are you the same brother who played with her

when you were children?

Exchanged sticky kisses,

fought over toys and hid under the house

whispering secrets in the dark,

smiling at each other as you heard your mother’s shrill bird call

while she searched for you,

your breath brushing your sister’s forehead,

blowing the tendrils of her hair

as you inhaled the milky sweetness

of her skin, glistening like a pearl

in the light that fingered its

way down towards you,

threatening to give you away.


Did you forget, as you pulled the trigger

how tender and precious she was?

Like a ripe summer apricot

to be pressed delicately

against your heart.