Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15



Despy Boutris
| poetry


begins with the sight of someone

else’s eyes, voice pulled taut


by a ribbon of smoke, apples

of cheeks reddened like seawater


in the evening light.

A volcanic eruption, one body


surging toward another, determined

to scorch skin, safe


from the cloudburst outside.

Your lips are suction cups


and I a window, a whole suburb

spread with sheets drying


on clotheslines. Want the width

of your spread-eagle thighs.


No, wider. Outside, a train cries out

for our attention,


not knowing we’ve been wired

to this bed for hours, volcanic


in our bursts of pleasure,

which is to say: louder than the train.


Though we imitate its sound

against the tracks,


that familiar, fast pace.

Despy Boutris’s writing has been published in Copper Nickel, Guernica, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Agni, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of The West Review.

Still Life with Apples
Welp [Found Poem among Yelp Reviews of a Local BBQ]