SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

You Fit Into Me by Stacey Balkun

We lived in a house made of honey, me and you,

drip in the walls never wavering, a poor fit

for a fatherless girl and a widow, the shimmer of sun fading into

torn wallpaper, yellowed with age. It was supposed to be sweet, but me,

I would shiver to stay warm, fearing your sting, like

a little bee. One fat summer day, I found a

wet stain on the kitchen ceiling, swollen as a hook

dipped in plaster. Mother, remember how we stared, fret locked into

our knuckles and lips, watching a neighbor unholster an

old power drill, eager to find for you the leaking pipe? Closed eye,

we sprinted out of the heavy house, down the drive as a

swarm of bees poured from their hive between stories, leaping like fish

and I wanted to leave right then more than ever but feared your hook,

the funnel of fury, windows darkened with winged bodies, an

apocalypse of fleeing to sunlight, exodus through the open

front door. I knew then I could no longer trust you. Never since looked you in the eye.


--after Margaret Atwood (a golden shovel)

Stacey Balkun is the author of Eppur Si Muove, Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak & Lost City Museum. Winner of the 2017 Women's National Book Association Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The Rumpus, Muzzle, Bayou, and others. Chapbook Series Editor for Sundress Publications, Stacey holds an MFA from Fresno State and teaches poetry online at The Poetry Barn.

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