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Honorable Mention for the 2012 Adroit Prize for Poetry
Judge: Chloe Honum


No crueler temptation exists
than the many reclusive,
blinking eyes of Barcelona,
where the winding deception
of the streets
encases me both in the
past and the present.
I followed my eyes here
to capture
the lifeless stone of your skeletons,
but the rhythm of your beating heart
has pulsed through my fingers
and rendered my pencils useless.


I count in reverse while I dwell here,
and each day my spindling fingers
lower one by one.
And I wish for impossible limbs
to provide me with one more pair of hands
and ten more days
to live like a human who has not yet learned to live
within your crumbling walls.


Your shattered boundaries
keep me stranded and safe
from what I long to escape to and from.
For never would I dare defy the restless Mediterranean,
with its many desperate hands and stoic silences.
Nor the caverns that sigh between
great, slanted, Pyrenees,
where echoed screams reverberate
for years before they meet the silent stone
and curved embrace
of canyon depths.
I fear for my shadow
for my fingernails and follicles
that will survive me should I find my fate
where westward winds have carried
all other fallen forms.


Time will flow in reckless currents
and snatch away the futures we do not firmly grasp.
Such is our fate, lonesome seaside city,
for though my feet carry me skyward,
I wish to wake
to one more sunrise
among trolley cars and foreign tongues.
I wish
I could kick off my shoes
and follow the future of the mountain springs
and the circling gulls.
I’ve hidden too much of myself
resounding through cobbled ways
and clipped to swaying laundry lines
to ever truly depart.


Eliza Moley is currently a high school student living in Connecticut. She spends a considerable amount of her (increasingly limited) free time writing, directing films, and reading novels at a rapid pace. In the past year, she has attended a creative writing program offered by National Geographic, earned an honorable mention for the 2012 Adroit Prizes for her poem “Barcelona,” and acquired three regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Having fostered a love of poetry since the second grade, she is happy to divide her efforts between The Adroit Journal reading staff and her school’s literary magazine, Penumbra.