Poetry: Low Tide by Rachel Swirsky

Fear binds
knees to stomach
forehead to feet.
Smothered, dissonant,
familiar paralysis.

Infinitesimal miscalculations
replicating X, should be Y,
should be Z, R, Q, N, should
be the person who
avoids my gaze
in mirrors.

A broken equation,
solution dissolving
into equal parts:
crumpled afternoons,
thirsty riverbeds,
severed strings.


Rachel Swirsky Rachel Swirsky graduated from the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2005 and the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2008. She has published more than fifty short stories in magazines and anthologies, and her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award, and others. Her work has twice won the Nebula Award. Her second short story collection, HOW THE WORLD BECAME QUIET: MYTHS OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, came out from Subterranean Press in 2013. She only writes poetry occasionally, and is pleased to have a few lines out after taking a break for a few years.

Grand Jeté (the Great Leap) – Nebula Nominee 2015

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love – Nebula Winner 2014, Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee

The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window – Nebula winner 2011, Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee

Eros, Philia, Agape – Hugo nominee

A Memory of Wind – Nebula nominee

One thought on “Poetry: Low Tide by Rachel Swirsky

Comments are closed.