This world is harrowing, harrowing,
all harrow, as if harrow were what
the world is made of, what we are
made of, as if harrow were strings
to be strummed, tendons and veins
to be strummed, as if harrow
could be snapped between the teeth,
the word one letter from the white meal
inside our bones, the meal we could make
of ourselves, harrow, two letters
from the bird who might strum
with its beak what the body is made of,
what the world is made of, and in that
strumming become the song.
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 she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University.