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

Antidote by Catherine Staples

The slander was a lie, but when whispered

In her ear it held, echoed.

Endless as a rock-pool brimming, a hidden

Spill of water, sounding a cave.


She listened though she knew it wasn’t true.

She shook her head.

The lie rose like yeast, like six seeds

Of pomegranate in the distraction of grief.


Ruined, it whispered and winter   

Swept the small room.

But the floor was lined in stone, old

Rock from a long gone inland sea.


The dark lines of fossils woke her—

The still beauty

Of curved spines and wings,

Birds. Ferns. Whole ferns survived


Exact even to the dark spores on fronds.

A river bank and a bay tree.

Catherine Staples is the author of The Rattling Window, winner of the McGovern Prize, and Never a Note Forfeit. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, and others. Recent honors include a Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writer’s Conference and the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Award. She teaches in the English and Honors programs at Villanova University. Please visit at: www.catherinestaples.com.

The Hygienist by Judith Terzi

The Names of the Planets by Cornelia Channing