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

Spell by Cindy Veach

When is leaving justified?

One-part eggshell to two-parts love?

Two-parts eggshell to one-part love?


None of the above?

My head is full of noise.

My head is a hung jury.


My head is a congregation

seated on hard wood benches

while outside the Chinese maple


is on fire and worth a sidelong glance.

Who can resist? The urge,



I cast my eyes knowing

I could not look back.

Those leaves escaping


the tree, sparking the air

made me think of lightning bugs

when I hadn’t thought


of lightning bugs

since Bloomington

since the rental on Bender Road.


I raced my sisters

across that dark yard.

I wanted to capture


all the light.

It wasn’t a secret.

There were people


who drove down our road at night

to dump unwanted puppies

from car windows.


How could they do that?

And yet.

How could I?

Cindy Veach is the author of Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press). Her poetry has appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, AGNI, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Journal, North American Review, Salamander and elsewhere. She directs fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations and lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

Nursing Mother at the Window by Camille Yvette-Welsch

And Then You Dump It by Leah Umansky