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

A Copy of Szymborska’s Collected Poems Abandoned on a Table by Frances Donovan

no clocks in the methadone / prison /


just shuffling

mealtimes with plastic forks no knives

smoke breaks group time et


            we line up and shuffle


szymborska stands

on the balcony in a pencil skirt

looking out over the row houses

maybe all this / is happening in some lab?

she asks


nurses joke about the methadone

as they dole it out they call it cocktails

in the med room they stumble

cackle aping its effects


                                      this shit

makes you a zombie and then it

kills you I growl my face hard

                                       they get

real serious



no clocks

                          just shuffling

the tables

                 always sticky


time for crafts!

says the nurse

keys jangling

we line up and shuffle


the world doesn’t take flight

the way dreams do says szymborska

she points me out


I am full and loud with dignity

Frances Donovan is the author of the chapbook, Mad Quick Hand of the Seashore (Reaching Press, 2018). Publication credits include Borderlands, Snapdragon, Marathon Literary Review, Gender Focus, and The Writer. She curated the Poetry@Prose reading series in Arlington, Massachusetts, and has appeared as a featured reader at numerous venues in the Northeast. She once drove a bulldozer in a GLBT Pride parade while wearing a bustier. Find her online at www.gardenofwords.com and on Twitter @okelle. 

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