Fourth Place: Darius Atefat-Peckham

Christening Sonnet

I’ve been obsessed with sound of late. “Crazy’s out again.”
As if this man could be crazed, who scolds the pavement when it
Quakes, so like the shout of my father’s waking, his lover’s
Hush on his lips. She says she wants me to believe
In something. If ever there were a day to believe
It’s this one: Cyrus would have turned twenty-one the day
My father had the house alit with sound. “Think of it
Like a visitation. After all, wouldn’t he come back
In the form of something you love?” but I’ve learned I’ve loved
Without him. I’ve learned, strolling a library’s stacks, that I’m
Terrified of losing my face in so many mirrors,
Terrified but wanting, yes, for this animal to share my
Brother’s name. Wanting to say, “you don’t know me, bitch.” To say
“Your dog is an angel, woman, but he’s yours, he’s yours.”