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

Why Walk When We Can Fly

by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

Toilet paper wings
trailing behind him, my son
flaps through the house.
He’s unraveled the entire roll
in seconds, that’s all it took
to leave so much white behind,
on the floor and in the air
and in his hands. That’s how he burned,
I think, Icarus that is, but my son
isn’t reaching for the sun yet
and I haven’t taught him intent,
that arms transform
when they move that quickly,
that the body is always just an instant
away from becoming
something else, from leaving
the ground or returning to it.
And he falls, on his knees
or face, flat to the hardwood, falls
without knowing how
it happened and rises
having forgotten he ever fell.
Maybe we need that too, to forget
or fall more, to move against
the past instead of towards it,
because underwater, the wax
must have congealed
back to wings around him
as the backwards sun
swallowed the whole
bird of him, clouds and body
strewn inside out,
left white and bare
as the hottest part
of a dying flame
or a star maybe, 
one we watch night after night
forgetting it must have died
so long ago
to still trail the sky.


Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach (www.juliakolchinskydasbach.com) emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Julia is the author of The Many Names for Mother, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry prize, forthcoming from Kent State University Press in the fall of 2019, as well as the chapbook The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014). Her newest poems appear in POETRY, Nashville Review, TriQuarterly, and Waxwing. Julia is the Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine and writes a blog about motherhood.

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