All in by Eliana Swerdlow

by Eliana Swerdlow

When you opened my leg,
I imagined I was the cedar waxwing
you picked up off the red patio
after it flew into the living room window,
bouncing back off the glass, its back against
the brick. You pulled its right wing
from its body gently and let the bird rest
on the yellow-striped kitchen towel.
Now, when you leave, you wrap me
in the comforter and tell me I can leave
before you come back. But I am not scared
of your touch like the cedar waxwing.
I am only scared I will fall between your fingers
when you are here and warm,
and I will hit the bed like a brick patio,
my body echoing away from you,
its noise lost in the mattress springs,
my freedom always underneath you
even when my body is gone.


An undergraduate at Yale University, Eliana Swerdlow is a Human Rights scholar studying English. In New Haven, she is an editor for the street publication Elm City Echo. Her work has appeared previously in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and she has poems forthcoming in the Gordon Square Review, White Wall Review, Panoplyzine, and Yale Literary Magazine.