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

Poem in Which I Forget Whether I Wanted Anything Else Back Then by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

You said you wanted no more than this 

thin black dog draped over our feet 

propped heel to heel and thigh to thigh 

 

and fingers curved around a white mug 

in whose coffee lilts a sweeter version 

of the milky way bridging dream and dawn 

 

and questions about the prayer mountain 

I climbed as the daughter of strangers 

made of incense and stones and returning 

 

with nothing but the memory 

of finding footholds in the musky earth 

of a mountainside 

 

without you & before us or the dog 

who now lifts a red-lidded eye 

as vast as stars just starting to spin. 


Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and more. See www.marcicalabretta.com.

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Root by Paula Bohince