My Muse

by ADEN STEIGERWALT | Honorable Mention, student poetry contest 

My muse, that ever elusive force which
smells of strawberries and lung cancer
Dressed in black as bright as our dreams,
all after images and paragraphs made of nothing
Your face is just an illusion that haunts our
every verse, our every empty verse
The pistol filled with inspiration and complexity
feels cold against our pounding temples
My muse, your blood, thick and watered down
fills our glass ink vial, so we may never cease
Our wrists leak all the potential we ever
had as a quill continues to scrawl across your skin
Mentions of you haunt us everywhere we go
two years since we last lived unhaunted
Through us your pain is rehearsed, replayed
until we wear the tape thin, never stopping, only pausing
My muse of twenty-three, of auburn hair,
of lies and falsehoods, of a toxin we think we need
My muse, your thighs in ribbons, press against our cheeks
your stomach press our thoughts down, drowning us both
Glances in the mirror, reveal the truth, our shoulders unburdened
the weight of you, ever present upon our barb wire riddled spine
So many things unspoken, our new words fail to reach your ears
contemplating the time our olds words brought to an end


Aden Steigerwalt is a young 20-year-old whose passion for writing has been a thread of his life since elementary school. He has been writing since his freshman year of high school, his work ranging from long-form short stories to simple three-line poems. Along with being a poet who knows it, Aden is also an Eagle Scout whose adventures in scouting helped to inspire some of his work.