What Fits the Mouth

Boom lifts gather in their rest along Gray’s Ferry,

yearn upward for the comet circling tonight,

the one no one can see from within this bath of light,

but still we soak until our skin practically blurs.

From her bed my child says I’m trying to catch a star —

eat it, mama, spit it out. Where can I put my awe,

parked in a big-box lot, the doors safety-locked,

the windows tight? What fits the mouth but blessing

when the Target cashier says the opal on my hand—

haven’t seen one in years—put him in mind

of his late mother? In the shower I cup

one breast then the other, landforms I once shrugged

away in fear. Each a private circuit

of demolition and repair, plenty and lack.


Leah Falk, a white woman in her thirties, stands outside near a river with a bridge in
the background. She has short light brown hair and glasses, and wears a
black turtleneck and colorful scarf. She has a hand in the pocket of her
trousers.

Leah Falk is the author of the poetry collections Other Customs and Practices and To Look After and Use. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, FIELD, and elsewhere. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is Director of Education and Engagement at Penn Live Arts, the performing arts center at the University of Pennsylvania.