2022 Poetry Ourselves: “galatea” by Emily Allison

A companion to Poetry Out Loud, the Poetry Ourselves competition gives students the opportunity to submit original poetry. The 2022 competition was open to Poetry Out Loud state and jurisdictional champions.

Emily Allison, South Carolina’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud Champion, is the 2022 Poetry Ourselves written poetry winner for the poem “galatea.”


she was sugar-fed marble,
thick slices of poppy-filled
pastures, spirits of champagne

and ambrosia nectar,
fermenting under a cream-stuffed
moon and yeast-risen stars.

i yearned for her, begged
to aphrodite in the egg-washed sky
to flush her cheeks to rosemary,

soften her stomach to bread.
she was milk smoothed
over a brazen tongue, dipped in cinnamon,

curdled in freckled almonds
plucked from their tree limbs,
spilt into saffron-steeped liquid.

i swept her crumbs into me,
licking the honey crust from my fingers,
my cherry-pie stomach rupturing.