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

Amazonian Abecedarian by Rita Maria Martinez

Amazonium, strongest metal on Earth, forged into

bullet-deflecting bracelets, shiny silver

cuffs inspiring confidence, helping me thwart

derisive bullies who openly threatened

extending their reign of terror beyond shouts of freak,

feaperra, hound of Hades, eye

gunk of Giganta, chew toy of Cheetah, jock itch of Jor-El. Great

Hera! Athena knows I only possessed

imagination and daydreams of the invisible

jet whisking me away before obnoxious prima donnas

kicked my face in because they thought they had

license to make my benign and solitary existence

miserable, but Marston’s immortal maiden

never succumbed to imbeciles or threats,

openly defied those plotting to plunder

Paradise Island, place that sounded like abuela’s Cuba,

quiet Eden, uncharted isle where peace

reigned supreme and women enjoyed

sailing, fencing, and horseback riding.

Themyscira, I have longed for your refuge

under the full moon’s omniscient,

voluptuous light, desired to enter the sanctum of Diana’s

world, elusive, mysterious, impervious, never

X’d on man-made maps—

your beauty surpasses anything

Zeus could’ve ever imagined.


Rita Maria Martinez’s poetry collection, The Jane and Bertha in Me (Kelsay Books), celebrates Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre. Her poetry appears in the Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Martinez’s work also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama, and in the anthology Burnt Sugar, Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish. Visit Martinez’s website at https://www.comeonhome.org/ritamartinez.

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