Paper Bowl


At an outdoor bar, she stood in the light,
which revealed the thick ashen makeup
that surrounded her drooping black eyes
and hovered above her sullen cheeks.

This makeup covered her once pale blue eyes
and dampened her once bright and blond hair
as she embraced Jake’s best friend.
Jake was like a sheet of iron and his lead legs

walked by her and his idealism was
a yellow smiley face pin covered with two drops
of blood, and her memory was a moldy
picture that he couldn’t destroy. He sat down

and realized that closure was a runaway
umbrella caught in a tornado,
but he stayed seated and ignored her; a train
on its track, and a paper bowl in the sun.

Luke Skoza is a Senior English Major at SIUC. He was the winner of the 2009 Academy of American Poets Undergraduate Prize.