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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2017 - Vol. 14, Issue 4


written by

Sophie Smith

They smelled like
wine and sweat and freedom.
Five blurred heads huddle together
in the thick, tobacco filled air,
disheveled hair sticking to shining foreheads.
The flash makes them glow
despite the dark that surrounds them.
Their smiles erupt on their faces
as though they were still laughing.

But the photo
doesn’t show them dancing.
You don’t see their skirts
swish around their ankles
like waves against rocks, or
their arms swaying in the air
like they were trying to knock out the stars,
because they were feeling brighter
than every constellation in the sky.

Their throats scratched from singing,
but their hoarse voices did not stop.
Feet punched the hard cobblestone floor,
but no one noticed the pain.
The night beat pulsed in their veins
and carried them away.

Sophie Smith is a graduate from the University of Mary Washington, with a degree in English: Creative Writing. She was the Editor-in-Chief for Issue 4.2 of the Rappahannock Review. She is a member of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. In 2014, at the start of her sophomore year, she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but was able to stay in school and graduated in the spring of 2017, Magna Cum Laude.

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