When the leaning became standing
we were thinner than poster-board.
Night held as possibly equipped
with a mouth we could open,
a slurping of tongue against gums
we could finally call "real."
Inscribing ourselves onto ledges,
our own brows from above
cast those ponderous shadows
on the ground (The motion lights
snapped on behind us). Soon,
we connected our teeth to the stars
blinking so far away, wincing,
waiting for the strings to be pulled.
Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, and other journals and anthologies. Books include Scatter, Feed (Seven Kitchens 2014) and Nobody's Jackknife (West End Press 2015).