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Issue Four & Poetry

Transparent

By Maggie Smith

 

The girl wonders: If she held a lantern

before the woman until she went

 

transparent enough to read through,

would she see the child inside

 

like a letter full of secrets? Once the girl

was part of the woman, tethered

 

inside her, transparent herself—

until the winter she writhed into air,

 

a new creature entirely. Darkness

inside the body must be woods-black.

 

The girl wonders: If she held a lantern

before the woman, would she see

 

what became of the unfinished child

bled away in the far field? She wonders

 

if its ghost is still on the mountain,

hovering birdlike in the scent

 

of the woman’s hair. If the woman

went transparent enough, the girl

 

wonders if she would see a shadow

inside her, a small lobe of darkness

 

nestled beside the living child.

 

 

“Transparent” from Good Bones, published by Tupelo Press, copyright 2017 Maggie Smith. Used with permission.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash