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

This Will Be Your Fortune Long After I Can Tell You

Today, someone I love told me

a joke. It wasn’t even that funny

but I laughed, let the sound fill my mouth

until it spilled out, made my lungs ache

with the push push of air

until even my bones hurt. Today,

one of my students told me to have

a lovely day, not even just a good

one, but a lovely one. I can imagine

that as a blessing, though the air was

cold and the sky was gray and I’ve been

holding a sense of dread under my skin

for days, no weeks, no I’ve been holding

it there for years. Today, I worked out

until my muscles tingled under my skin,

today I laid on the floor like this,

closed my eyes, and it was the closest feeling

to flying I might ever get. Today, I still

said “might” about impossible things. Today,

a friend and I made plans for the future and

the world felt like something I could hold

in the palm of my hand. Today, no one I loved

died. Today, I woke up breathing. Today,

I thought how much I wanted to give you

this day. Today, if I could, I’d push it

into your hands, say, here, here, here,

I’m here, you’re here. Today is going

to be good.

Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & environment. Her work appears in Bombay Gin, Drunken Boat, Glass, Hobart, and more. She is co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph and her chapbook, The Science of Unvanishing Objects, is out from Finishing Line Press. Find her on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes.

Nighttime Ischemic

Ghazal for a Bottle of Shalimar, 1956