Others climb mountains or catch fish or swim naked in creeks. I want to rip off these jeans I bought sleepily at a mall in Ohio. I want to tip my canoe over in this dirty lake and feel the catfish’s whiskers while it tells me about hunger, while it shows me the lake’s edges. I can’t swim. I sit at the dock and rub my feet against fins until I forget we aren’t the same. Mother says better to be cautious: you can’t feel what you touch if you’re dead. She’s never been dead or asked me what it is I fear about being alive.
Eliana Rose Swerdlow
Eliana Swerdlow is a rising junior at Yale University, where she studies English and Human Rights. She is from New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal and Panoply, and she has poems forthcoming in White Wall Review, SWWIM, Metafore Magazine, and Yale Literary Magazine.