December 18, 2007

Booksmart - Poem

Woman, Custer, Kentucky, 1999By Robert L. PenickShe tosses her hair behind her,then offers her face to the sun’s imprint.Leans back against the trunk of arusted-red Chevrolet.Perhaps sunlight will preserveboth metal and bone.Parking lot of afranchise gas station.Fuel and cigarettes, donuts, coffee.Perhaps air for the tires.Out back, among weeds and cans,the sign on the compressor reads“Quarters only.”Inside the station a man long debatesover the price of wiper blades.His wife loiters, feels her bonesgrow warm, something flowing,a bonding with light.Book Smart ChallengeEntries — either flash fiction or poetry — should be no more than 325 words. The deadline is the first business day of each month (for work to be published later that month). Contestants may submit up to three entries per month. LEO reserves the right to publish any submitted work in print and online. Please do not send originals; work will not be returned. Send entries to, with “Book Smart Challenge” in the subject line, or mail to LEO, Book Smart Challenge, 640 S. Fourth St., Ste. 100, Louisville, Ky., 40202.