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

Root

My birthright
to rival the dirt for primacy 
of earth (this inner 
outer space) stars 
of mica, tinselly give-offs 
to read by. 

I aspire, my spine 
spiraling out of skull and piercing 
sky, like a queen, 

and me, her foot- 
note, her shamed history.  

I ponder Brahms 
and Bauhaus. I have thoughts, 
spectacular or quiet 
depending on rainfall. 

No honey down here, but I 
lust, I grudge, 

I apprenticed myself 
to a darkness and sent up 
cardinal redness while I sinned 
in my brain, 

demonic or dull, 
either way lost to the aerial 
photograph, as my mind 
mapled air,  

my frayed and dendritic 
nerves, my lyrical 
impulses, separate as a corsage is 
from the wrist of the one 
who wears it.


Paula Bohince is the author of three collections, all from Sarabande: Swallows and Waves (2016), The Children (2012), and Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods(2008).  Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Best American Poetry.  She has been an NEA Fellow, Dartmouth Poet in Residence at The Frost Place, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholar, and Amy Clampitt House Resident.  She lives in Pennsylvania, where she grew up.

Desperate Beauty

No Children