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

Vacationing with the Dead by Suzanne Edison

Maybe it is the shriveled spiders,

looking like compost flakes on the rug that tell me,

 

these beasts were fornicating and feasting

more than I. Maybe it is the scraping sound

 

of sow-bug shells, sucked up and spinning

in the vacuum I employ that reminds me

 

of the ladybug carapaces, dozens

scattered on my dining table, that greeted me

 

years ago. Then, my mother had been dead

 

less than a day and I was not there to feed her

ice chips, soothe rattle and wheeze, or shroud

 

the carcass of her last breath. My memory opens

like a slash of flesh—I am the same age now

 

as she was then.

                        Fogging my reflection

 

in the picture window I watch evening

hug the swelling redbud limbs

 

as bats drain the air of insects.

But I am not here to grieve.

 

I want to know about the living

to come. How to navigate by clouds.

 

How the tree grows around a nail

pounded into it.


Suzanne Edison is the author of The Moth Eaten World (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry can be found in Bullets into Bells (online), JAMA, What Rough Beast, Bombay Gin, The Naugatuck River Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Spillway, and The Examined Life Journal, as well as in the anthologies Face to Face: Women Writers on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening (ed. Joy Harjo & Brenda Peterson, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux) and The Healing Art of Writing, Volume One.

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