These students will receive some tasty Young Writers Project chocolate bars and guaranteed publication in the upcoming weeks. But have no doubt - we fell in love with a lot of these photographs, and are excited to find uses or avenues of publication for many of them.
Stay busy, friends! You're always welcome to send us photographs, no matter the time of year. A sincere thank you from YWP headquarters for your participation and enthusiasm.
I'm find myself scraping off the dust-pink shellac warping my fingernails. A half-life has come to pass; I'm not sure whose.
By the end of last week I'd sanded straight through a three-pack of emery boards from an old December stocking and am now left with the dull edge of dollar store clippers. The ruddy scabs on my finger-creases still come from a nervous eczema itch when I choose to look closer. I do not.
Instead I let the chips fall where they may. Without sight I sense my DNA settle into the flannel of my bedsheets. Keratin and rose polish snowflakes - a melancholy glitter. There is no sparkle to catch the lamplight. I realize now that I do not know the backs of my hands any better than I know the calluses on the bottom of my own feet.
At least on my toes, I remind myself, I can still picture the grass stains of summer. The nail beds there bleed too, but not as much.
“To grow your own corn you must make sacrifices,” they tell me, but I sneak into my neighbor’s yard with a trowel anyway.
I loosen the edges of a round plot like a spatula to a pancake, roll it up, and drag it over the picket fence to my barrenness (they won’t even know it’s missing).
When the Almanac dictates my time to plant I take the seeds from my apron pocket and rub my bruised lips against them. One by one I release them into their holes, exhaling.
To the wind I ask, Is that enough?
Each sunrise I leap out of bed to inspect the dirt with a magnifying glass, on the lookout for sprouts even before I piss. In the soft dawn light I water them, read to them, running my fingers through the peach fuzz grass.
But they were right all along. In the end I grow impatient; I submit.