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

If Joan of Arc Were Still Alive by Arminé Iknadossian

She would be sitting by the Mediterranean

at sundown, the sky as red as Campari,

singing, or maybe sharpening her cutlery

on a large stone. She would eat black olives

as she watched the burning sea, its lashes

opening and closing at her feet, its stories rising

into evening before pulling away its long skirt.

A hurricane lamp would cast shadows

on the sand with its bright flame. Some nights

she would talk to the flame, ask it probing

questions as if all flames were related.

Other days she would just laugh, shake her head,

whisper the names of her enemies

while collecting bits of sea glass to rub

between her thumb and forefinger, one for each

word God spoke to her. Green for “daughter”,

brown for “pity”, white for “Orleans”.

But most often, she would talk to the sea,

its curling fingers of foam, its fists of water

like a woman climbing out of ash and bone.


Arminé Iknadossian is the author of the chapbook United States of Love & Other Poems (2016). Her poetry has recently been published in Lullaby of Teeth: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry, Margie, Pearl, Rhino, Split This Rock, Alabama Literary Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Angels Flight Literary West and Entropy. Arminé has an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University, Los Angeles and has worked as a teacher, as assistant editor to Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer and Molly Ivins, and most recently as bookstore manager of Beyond Baroque. From 2013-2015 she served as Writing Consultant for The Los Angeles Writing Project through CSULA. In the Spring of 2017, she was chosen as a Writer in the Schools for Red Hen Press. Arminé is honored to be the new associate poetry editor of Angels Flight Literary West. Find out more at armineiknadossian.com.

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