Student Poem Among Winners in National Competition

Student Luke David Monaco’s poem, “Vines Have Thorns,” was a winner in the spring national Community College Poetry Competition.  It is included in “Poetry for the Mind’s Joy,” an anthology published by the Community College Humanities Council.

Vines Have Thorns

And devils have horns, according to the bible.
I push the gas pedal and that’s when I hear you.
Like a spark, a click, an immediate transaction.
Force yourself into my ears, into my brain,
You intoxicate me, poison me.
The light turns green,
But it doesn’t register soon enough
And horns’ honking floods the inside of my car,
Drowns out your voice.
But I want to hear you again,
I want for you to fill up my skull,
Bounce inside my walls;
And you come back to me.
Suffocate me.
Two vines, you wrap your arms around me-
Not much consolation, you strangle me.
My small, tight convertible is the only thing that keeps me safe from you.
And again the light is green,
And I’ve almost reached my final destination, ma finale.
But your hands, they too spread like vines over my body,
Your fingers, thorns, prick my skin,
Hold me back from taking the next step.
And once more, I’m stuck.
From moving.
From breathing.
From doing anything at all.
Maybe because of you.
Or maybe it’s because of me.