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

The World is a Scented Handkerchief

                        after Shakir Li’aibi



The world is a moonlit rib,
a disheveled vigil, a shackled

clock. The world is greedy
geography, empty bells,

unripened tides, breathless
shells on a desert beach.

The world is a newborn
nun. The world is a fluttering

gun. The world is extinguished
chants, listless ships, bleeding

thieves. It is clouded vowels,
the taste of sound on the tongue

of a young girl. The world
is every word unfurled.


Erin Murphy’s eighth book of poems is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, North American Review, Field, Brevity, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Her awards include The Normal School Poetry Prize judged by Nick Flynn, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and a Best of the Net award judged by Patricia Smith. She is editor of three anthologies from the University of Nebraska Press and SUNY Press and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State Altoona.

Pulse: A Memorial in Driftwood, Cannon Beach, OR

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