swamp angel, not even a little brackish By Colette Chien

swamp angel, not even a little brackish

i am not a salted girl. pour on me gallons of fresh water / i’ll soak
heavy & shake like a fed dog. i let my skin hang loose most times.

i do things everybody does but alkaline. imagine being ready to
swallow pitcher plants & avoiding saline sponges overrun, while

texting mom. i am what your dry mouth thinks of in the morning.
bitter, sweet / the patches of shimmer on any lake wished they’d

float as easy as me / the egret call wakes them when the sky turns
from grey to a white, she sounds like she’s crying when she belts

her morning bleats, keeps ‘em tired & sinking deep. i try to live
without a vein of toxicity / you know / all i need is electrolytes

from quenched thirst (& a light belief in karma), to keep on.
i move like sand turning to glass or relentless wind in a flat place,

in a place with no buildings & no trees. the only time acidity ever
fixed me was after ingesting botched pasta sauce. i don’t need that

element. i am stained enough without it. i don’t need to heat up,
break down, tear apart for a pastime activity. from what i hear

that leaves you hollow. i want to be full of blossom & bud, carefully
hand-fed from my spotless liver & revived from a midday wake.

By Colette Chien


My name is Colette Chien. I am a senior at Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in poetry and wildlife ecology. My previous published work includes my chapbook, “the poison in our houses” in Silent Actions Magazine, the poem, “i was born into this place a bit of fire & a cancer” into Love and Squalor magazine, and the poem, “visceral fears & ampersands have nothing to do with this” in The Sarah Lawrence College Literary Review.

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