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24| Mine eye hath play'd the painter and hath stell'd

Ellen McGrath Smith


She was bent over blonde when she said to the mirror
which, being a mirror, was me "Know what's funny?"

That's the butternut squash turning in on itself,
a crooked finger inviting despondent types in

to a mealy and damp early fall. Nostradamus
and his yellow horde came out of the taxi cab's

battered exhaust. I speak and you speak, we all speak
for aspic, and dreaming, somebody in the eighties

named Sasha spoons quaking kholodets onto my palms.
"How most people think we won the Cold War, the U.S."

Someone flushes, someone hollers "If it's yellow, let it mellow."
Call this painting CyberRestroom, twenty-thirteen. Like it twice.

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Poems have appeared in Cimarron, Bayou, Quiddity, Sententia, The American Poetry Review, and others. Her work has been recognized with an AROHO Orlando Prize, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A chapbook of her poems, Scatter, Feed, will be published this year by Seven Kitchens Press.

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