A child of, say, six knows you’re not the shape
she’s learned to make by drawing half along a fold,
cutting, then opening. Where do you open?
Where do you carry your dead? There’s no locket
for that—hinged, hanging on a chain that greens
your throat. And the dead inside you, don’t you
hear them breathing? You must have a hole
they can press their gray lips to. If you open—
when you open—will we find them folded inside?
In what shape? I mean what cut shape is made
whole by opening? I mean besides the heart.

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of three full-length poetry collections, including most recently, Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017) and The Well Speaks of its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015). Her poem “Good Bones” went viral in 2016 and even made an appearance on the hit TV show Madam Secretary. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.