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Critic's Picks: Read Poetry
Read Me Aloud

By Catherine Killingsworth
age: 18
Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Award

I will not sit placidly on your eyes
Skipped and skimmed over ink that dries
Lifelessly on paper and lies
Trapped between sheets when skies
Should be my cage
Your mouth my page.

I want to slip between your teeth
Feel the humid heat
Of breath hissing and
Consonants cutting,
Vowels bleeding flavor onto me.

My sounds lap languidly at your lips
A taste instantly brilliant that slips
Into memory and fits
Perfectly under your tongue
Or behind the tips of your teeth
Or in your lungs.

So if you could I would have you

Just inhale some air and
Read me aloud.

Free me
To sing out
The way it's meant to be,
For I do not live imprisoned in print
But in your ears and sounds and mouth

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Short Fiction

Catherine's "Read Me Aloud" is a beautiful example of both personification and mastery of sound. She said that she composed "Read Me Aloud" without pen or paper or computer; she composed it aloud! Take her advice and read this aloud a couple of times, enjoying the manipulation of sounds and words.