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.

Anger Is a Girl by Audrey Lee

Penelope Complaining to Her Mother by Paula Persoleo