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

In Which I am Surprised to Find Myself in April Again


This spring I am required to turn the tap left, ending the river of recycled 
tears, I am required to pray to living children, to their knees and small stomachs,
their throats and green toes, I am required to cover the witch’s well with cut cedar,
board it up with magic mirrors buried beneath the bones, I am required to float 
with  my grandson in sun-blue pool water, his unscarred skin so gentle a sponge for 
all things clean and in flight, his good hands in motion, his fingers antennae, his voice 
as deep as a baby bullfrog, creaky as a rusted bell, I am required to 
look into the face of my newborn grand daughter, her crystal ball eyes revealing 
her amber-scented future with 90 years of hurricane survival stories, 
not the weedy-trailed paths of the past, snakes tasting her heels as she passes, this spring 
I am required to take a lover, let something touch my skin that was born in floods
of blood and womb-water not wool-woven or cast iron, I am required to use 
my body, remove it from the cellar where it hides with canned okra, mulberry 
jam, I am required to drape it around my songs, I am required to pinch and be
pinched, to bruise, to slither, to goosebump, to wander with memories of tongues and teeth, 
to wallow in muddy creeks with tadpoles and crawfish, I am required to dry my-
self with forsythia and dandelion dust, until I am aglow with yellow.


Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother, currently landlocked in St. Louis, MO. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Into the Void, Noble/Gas, Five:2:One, Verity La, Califragile, Pretty Owl Poetry and Yes Poetry. Her chapbook, Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe will be published in May 2019 by AHC Press. She is also the Poetry Editor of Gone Lawn.

When Mars Is Aligned

Skin Deep