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Spanish Runner-up Tú By Jonathan Teuma

Tú en la bañera,
un lugar poético
para comenzar.
Tan poético como
la playa donde
comenzamos
tú y yo.
Pero hoy
Tú, en la bañera
tus pechos desafiantes
tus ojos cerrados
tu espalda estirada
tus brazos alzados
y el agua corriendo
hacia abajo
encontrando se bajo
tu ombligo
a mas agua y

en la bañera
en tregua sincera
ahí a mi vera
llenando mi cueva.
Tú.

Judge Charles Durante comments

Spanish Runner-Up: Jonathan Teuma with Tú. The erotic element has been a staple topic in the poet’s repertoire since the time of Sappho, Catullus, and John Donne. In this genre it is easy to get the balance wrong, to overdo the lyrical description of the beloved’s body, to indulge in crude sexual fantasy. The result can be nauseating and sometimes just pornographic. However, Tú has the ingredients of a controlled, measured, but palpitating reality.

The bath is a place for nudity, relaxation and foreplay. Here it is ‘un lugar poético.’ The poetic, amorous journey started ‘en la playa’, another place for gawping at semi-clad bodies. The core of our poem describes the physical attributes of the beloved: her breasts are ‘desafiantes’-provocative in their pertness; the eyes closed in ecstasy, the bare back smooth with the water dribbling down the outstretched arms, until it gathers beneath the navel, in a gesture of reconciliation and surrender. The truly erogenous zones are left unmentioned but are all the more suggestive for being submerged in the water. The simple personal pronoun ‘tú’ echoes throughout this wonderfully wrought lyric. Without ‘tú’ there would be no poem or sexual excitement. Whoever inspired the poem should consider herself privileged: she has an accomplished poet for a lover! Well done.

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