In ancient Latin, the word for bone –os -
was spelled the same as os, the word for mouth.

Once there was a mouth that shrank with age
to a pocket the size of a pea, with no more room 

for food, or drink, or teeth, or even a tongue.
It grew smaller and smaller until it became 

completely untethered: a small hole 
floating in the night sky, 

through which only bones spoke, 
but only the bones of stars.

A poet and essayist, Michele Leavitt is also a high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, and former trial attorney. Her essays have appeared in venues including Guernica, The Journal, and So to Speak; one was listed in 2015 as a Longreads Top Five of the Week, and another received a notable mention in Best American Essays 2011. Poems appear most recently, or are forthcoming, in North American Review, Gravel, and Mezzo Cammin

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