Cover art by Kathryn McDonnell

Maggie Smith

Beautiful things fill every vacancy.
—C.D. Wright

I am a buzzard sky, late
fall, the smell of kerosene.

The flicker of a deer’s white
tail in the tree bones.

I am grass rusting.
In the lake, you are a fist

around a ponytail, the hum
of nearly stopped breathing.

A plane wrinkling a sheet
of night air. The belief

that everything ripe,
everything that will ever

ripen, has been picked.
Impossible. I am the mouth

that can hold more. I am
the moon watching the girls

swim, the night sky pucker
in the jet’s pull. Softening,

flushed, I am a cheek.
Peachskin. The globe

of some new, ready fruit.

Maggie Smith is the author of The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press 2015), winner of the Dorset Prize; Lamp of the Body (Red Hen 2005), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award; and three chapbooks, including Disasterology (Dream Horse Press, forthcoming). She has received fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2015 she joined the Kenyon Review as a Contributing Editor, and in Spring 2016 she will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University.