Fear streamlined to elegance and elegance made mute within this skin of gunmetal and gash mouthed grin. Repute would have the monster cruel—untrue— for mannerly cruelty demands a heart, unwitnessed in its calm machinery.
Hailey Leithauser is the author of Swoop (Graywolf Press, 2013), winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award from the Poetry Foundation. She is also the recipient of the Discovery/The Nation Prize, an Individual Artist’s Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, and the 2015 Towson Prize for Literature. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.