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

Poem in Which I Forget Whether I Wanted Anything Else Back Then

by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

You said you wanted no more than this

thin black dog draped over our feet

propped heel to heel and thigh to thigh


and fingers curved around a white mug

in whose coffee lilts a sweeter version

of the milky way bridging dream and dawn


and questions about the prayer mountain

I climbed as the daughter of strangers

made of incense and stones and returning


with nothing but the memory

of finding footholds in the musky earth

of a mountainside


without you & before us or the dog

who now lifts a red-lidded eye

as vast as stars just starting to spin.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal for poetry, and was a finalist for the 2017 Milt Kessler Award. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association, among others. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and more. She serves on the advisory board for the Sundress Academy for the Arts and is a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair. See www.marcicalabretta.com.


Self-Portrait with No Spare Parts