Untitled” by Kendall Grady came in 3rd place for the 2022 Sappho Prize, selected by guest judge Jos Charles. We’re honored to share this atmospheric poem with you.

You will have been either the speaker or the addressed of this poem. Some of us are cursed enough to have been both. One thing is sure—I have not been a fruit fly, a lemon, a pear. There is no title for this. If I could, I’d live in this world where even the daisies push / themselves up by their dicks.   —Jos Charles, guest judge



I invite you over to play house. After all
the box wine, you puke straight red

The tub looks like a corn syrup suicide,
but you keep cutting the wind

Your hand yapping like the dead
head of a rattler between my legs

until you finally pass out on the pullout
couch, a pale windsock, a dry moth

over a used car lot. You can’t tell a lemon
from a pear. Such a young

bag of bones! Your parents
take turns making your cell

go burrr. The daisies push
themselves up by their dicks.

It’s spring and we could’ve been
anything back from the dead

A nuclear family, pirate property,
a fruit fly released

from a truck of oranges
dazzled and afraid




Kendall Grady

Kendall Grady is a PhD candidate and instructor at UC Santa Cruz, where they write toward a media theory of love and through sensory ethonographies of poetic couplet. Grady's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PubLab, The Atlas Review, Concrete Flux, Dusie, and Jupiter 88, and have sounded at the Baltic Writing Residency (Stockholm) and the Poetic Research Bureau (Los Angeles). Their chapbook, 321 Couplets, is forthcoming from CoastNOCoast. Grady lives in California with the Midwest in their heart.