Virginia Smith Rice

[the time i hold back]

A girl too large for her age perches,
curious, toes circling dust.
She doesn’t move toward or away from,
only suspended, as by a rope swing.

Her childhood passes in the least
memorable way. No, it is wrapped
in a terrible secret. There is some
disagreement on the terms child-

hood, least, and secret. Beneath her blue
skin, lucent cities hum. In a cul-de-sac
tract, skulled windows uncrypt voice:

Let those bones lie! She lets them lie
and lie. Willows inch near the house.
No, it is the house that is moving.


[the time i hold back] by Virginia Smith Rice was originally published by the Cincinnati Review 10.2, Winter 2014