Sunday, May 17, 2009


By Elizabeth Kate Switaj



tell me not to shake not
to shiver but come nearer
tell me I haven't survived this long
by hiding in hedges & roots

tell me to trust you
when I've hopped here on burnt feet

no, really
tell me

& bring me water, some food
scratch me behind the ears


it was instant
and some of my wings
became shadows
in burning steel
eventually extinguished
still marked w/ me & dead

I always had more than three

chrysalis is
a murderous place
we wrap our selves in silk w/
those who wd destroy us

& gypsy moths wonder
if we knew
& were attracted


in shallower pond
we still rise
for air & someone
who remembers our worth
will throw us rice
next year if not tonight


Elizabeth Kate Switaj is the author of Magdalene & the Mermaids (Paper Kite Press), Shanghai (Gold Wake Press), and The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems (Ypolita Press). She edits Crossing Rivers Into Twilight and Gender Across Borders. For more information visit

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