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

Pasiphae by Michelle Bitting

Minos thinks he’s smarter than the sea

but you can’t keep a bull like

that in your basement


and not expect your wife to fuck it.


He teased me with his muscle-car hubris:

Why not take the wheel myself?


I’ll sculpt a ship, a fortress, a maze


of skin, leave a hole open

for that animal to penetrate,


feed my ruddy soil with its almighty seed.

What rough beast is born of our coupling


will suckle at my breast

swaddled in unraveling leagues


of my sea-like hair.

And the milk on my child’s tongue


will be sweet, so sweet

drinking deeply

of all that’s forbidden.


Michelle Bitting’s third collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth, named to Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of 2016." She has published poems and prose in American Poetry Review, Narrative, Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, Diode, the Paris-American, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review (“Renga for Obama”), AJP, Thrush, Fjords, Raleigh Review and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, (including Best of the Net 2017 from Thrush Poetry Journal) and recently, The Pablo Neruda, American Literary Review and Tupelo Quarterly Poetry contests. See www.michellebitting.com.

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