By Grace Sutphin

from a line by Ada Limón


We looked up at the unruly sky, its clouds in simple animal shapes

we could name,           and we                         waited for that unmistakable   changeling

Little   goat, little        sheep, the ready          belly of a         bird.


At Saint Mary’s          we released     balloons to correspond with    Vatican

smoke,             the sun’s light wavered but its heat was         tireless

Our red thumbs           fixed to                       the bases          of dandelion    heads


Mama had a baby                     and her head popped off

Mama had a baby                    and her head popped off


You tried to hang me on grandpa’s clothesline in Chicago after

ham sandwiches                      The wind pushed on my sunburn and your

hair teemed with secret lice    There was yelling from the

window           I looked out over the lake                   There was a mercy

detectable while yours reclined          Your mood ring glowed

violet   My feet stayed on the ground


We washed our hair in the lake                      The hot lake the hot lake

Lightning by the standing house         Calling to the black log turtles

Rotten crab     apples we        like to be        cruel to            Funny and boring and

beautiful          The buttons on your skirt                    The stiller the distance up

I think about the dogs we counted                  against                         our sky


and their gnashing teeth