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

Mirage

I learned to swim inland. Somewhere

in Maine my mother took me to a lake,

a round, sandy bottom thing shaded by trees.

We called it a beach as if we could make

it so by naming it. If we called it love,

then it was love. The first duty station

I remember wasn’t even on a coast. There

it snowed in droves and we lived in a house

with green shutters. Or at least I think

they were green. My memory’s broken

sometimes like a naval base without a sea.

My father told planes where to land,

my mother cried into her soup, I read

fairy tales in the closet and we called it

home. At the lake I swam out to a far

away dock. I cannonballed into schools

of minnows. I shivered in my pink suit,

the water cold like snow.


Emily Lake Hansen is the author of the chapbook, The Way the Body Had to Travel (dancing girl press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Nightjar Review, The McNeese Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Atticus Review, among others. She received an MFA from Georgia College and currently writes, teaches, and plays too many children's board games in Atlanta.

Equinox

Etymology