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

Migrant Words by Jude Marr

cross oceans cross borders cross

lines of demarcation to infiltrate fine-print

dictionaries: old lingos trade

in silks and spices: they masquerade

as coffee and chocolate—


new words colonize (curses

as fusillades, masculine endings

at war with the uninflected): unprotected songs

can bombard as cannon, while liturgies

slash and burn—


some words travel stealthily, tense

but not declined, with or without

portmanteaux: others are trafficked, objects

purloined, passage by passage: names

may be pulled aside, chopped

and changed, subject to

minute scrutiny—


lines tighten

around abbreviated

dict(a): letters


into acronyms: un-

wound syllables


from mouth

to mouth—




not babble

not bible


Jude Marr teaches and writes poetry as protest. She is the author of the chapbook Breakfast for the Birds (Finishing Line, 2017). Other recent credits include Mud City, Black Napkin and Split This Rock. Originally from Scotland, Jude is currently a PhD student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and also poetry editor for r.kv.r.y. For more, go to www.judemarr.com, or follow @JudeMarr1 on Twitter. 

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