The beginning line and slate grey concrete wet with greasy rain and how does the first line circle around – slinking, crawling, leaving claw marks in wet sand, a piece of fur on barbed wire – and write itself somewhere? Does the end write itself like an echo? Do I write to tell you where I began? No. I write like blue whale spouts, gulping air. It is raining outside and the center of the continent swirls with strong winds that suck into northern blizzards. I envision becoming a mother. To right something wrong. To do well unto a child who passes through me on a river of salt water and blood. To the west I hear a rattle. To the north a drum. To the east singing, soothing and melodious. To the south waves crest, barrel and foam white lace. Yesterday the waves had rainbows that rode their spray like phantom surf gliders, the pier busy with fishermen catching crab. We watched water light on fire. Here in the airport, a mother and daughter nestle together atop a yellow sunflower patterned quilt on the grey carpet floor, cozy, while the sun shines white through cloud cover and courses through the windowpane. I stare into translucence and watch airplanes bolt skyward.
Sonja Swift writes toward a place of understanding both of herself and of our world. She has publications in Dark Matter: Women Witnessing, Chrysalis Journal, Langscape magazine, Rock & Sling journal, Broad St. literary magazine and a chapbook of prose poems called Alphabet Atlas published by Deconstructed Artichoke Press. She calls home both San Francisco, California and the Black Hills, South Dakota.