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

When Mars Is Aligned

And the moon is in its second house
or is it third? Or fourth or fifth?
I can’t keep track of all those lyrics
let alone events the symbols might portend.

The only thing I’m sure of is the night sky
and how when I look up in the dark
I see the red planet winking,
the moon going through its phases,
the planets moving together or apart.

What would Galileo say about the galaxies
twisting and turning in space,
the bubbles and black holes, the dark and heavy
matter pressing down on all the souls of earth?

What would be the point, he’d say,
or maybe what difference would it make?
One way or the other, we’re collapsing
on ourselves, the seas are rising,
and each breath we take is measured.


Barbra Nightingale recently retired from 34 years at Broward College. She is now an Associate Editor with the South Florida Poetry Journal, and she volunteers with the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival. She has eight books of poetry with small presses, and over 200 published poems. Visit her at www.barbranightingale.com.

When the famous poet's widower sidles up to you at her memorial

In Which I am Surprised to Find Myself in April Again