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

Bildungsroman

The female mates

only once

with her mid-

Atlantic blue.

That doesn't mean

this decapoda

can't survive

without him.

True, before

she's mature,

she's carried

under

the weight

of his shell,

russet pincers scratching

the surface

of the bay's

brackish floor

as she stores him

inside her

to spawn

over and over

alone

with her egg sac.

But

carnivore,

omnivore,

detritivore,

claws crack

clams

to support

a million minions

 

tucked tightly

to her carapace.

Once winter's

cold water comes,

she burrows

in the sand,

insulating herself,

isolating herself,

a scavenging

specimen

in the salty

estuary.


Paula Persoleo is a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Her recent work has been accepted by Panoply, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Sheila-Na-Gig. She is an adjunct at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband.

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair

Lonely Girl Abecedarian