Elizabeth Kate Switaj


Eugenia by Yulia Terebunskaya

the ocean won’t remember you
from the first time you stepped in its waves
to the depths you dive and the length
your air and deco lines allow
pressure & breath—it’s all about
the ocean has no memory
for legs & hair & mind
and yet your ripples
bend and bend and turn the fish
who bend the surge and tide
unless you break the coral
your touch is undetectable
in waters with no memory
of you
and still you shape all salt that follows you
and we
shimmy into wetsuits against this cold


About the writer:
Elizabeth Kate Switaj  is the Chair of Liberal Arts at the College of the Marshall Islands. She holds a PhD in English from Queen’s University Belfast and has taught in Japan and China. Her first collection, Magdalene & the Mermaids, is published by Paper Kite Press, and her poems have recently appeared in Hawaii Review, Corium Magazine, and Figure 1.

Image: Eugenia by Yulia Terebunskaya. Oil on canvas. 18 x 24 W inches. By 2019. By permission.