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Columbia University, ’16
2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Editors’ List

This is a poem for two people
on either strip of soil.  You, me,

ease irrelevant. The benign form of morning,
the white underparts of your arm

seeking warmth. I sat in your chair
for a long time today. All the paintings

at the Cloisters and the only one I want
to look at: the impression of a lion

restored to stone. This is for a cactus
swelling hopefully with water. You,

the impression, warmth in soil. Morning,
you, the one I want, seeking ease,

swelling with water. I sat for a long time,
you, me, irrelevant. This, for two:

the Cloisters, the cactus. The underparts
stripped hopefully to form. I look

at your arm; water over me. Stone
seeking soil. Today the impression

of my form with your form, shadows swelling
white, voices outside the window,

you easy for a long time. This is a poem
to a cactus seeking warmth, painting

stone to soil. For two people sitting in water.


Serena Solin is a senior at Columbia University reading her way through the ecopoetry of contemporary African-American writers and writing some of her own on the side. A New Jersey native, she enjoys malls, barley tea, and yellow light.