Weekly Write: “Truth Climbs Out of My Throat to Shame My Abusers” by Auden Eagerton

Truth Climbs Out of My Throat to Shame My Abusers

When she emerges, she is not a beautiful thing,
drenched in a vernix of saliva,
breathless, trembling.
It has taken years to knife herself up my esophagus,
blazing her name red into each rib passed.
A tempestuous, heaving mass birthed into cupped hands,
a reckoning, and did you know,
I placed her amidst the cedar of my childhood home,
let her catch.
And still not as simple as that.
Every time I speak I decide
whether to keep her loaded on my tongue or rage,
because part of her is that I still speak to my father.
Part of her is that my father never reads my poems,
or if he does, sweeps them into the compost
for the worms to read, with the tomato peelings
and blood and how my mother helped us
hide purple omens from his belt, called that love.
How a girl I was seeing hit me fifteen years later
and I remembered that first time, knew now
it was in my hands to make sure hers never touched me again.
What a nice thought,
that I can save my childhood self
with a better cape tied around my shoulders.


Auden Eagerton is a non-binary poet located in Kennesaw, Georgia. They received a Bachelor of Arts in English, as well as a minor in Film Studies, at Kennesaw State University. Their interests lie heavily in studying American literature and poetry. In addition to publishing their own poetry, Eagerton aims to one day become an editor for a literary magazine and be involved in both sides of the publishing process. Their work has been featured in Exhume Literary Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, LandLocked Magazine, Across the Margin, DASH Literary Journal, The Bookends Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Digging Through the Fat/Digging Press, and is upcoming in peculiar, The Meadow, and Kudzu.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “The Squall, Soon” by Zachary Kluckman

The Squall, Soon

I claim the rain as my father.

Who hung its wet form more often in my door
than the man whose DNA wrote the map of my palms.

This body is almost entirely water.
My fingerprints are his, a sand garden

raked by the waves of his movement, by the presence
of tides, anchored to bone as hollow as his name,

whispered in storms. His face was built of screen doors,
easier to witness the world through his rust than see

the man. For years I believed the shriek of hinge
was my name. Named after him, the sound of doors

closing. The sound of absence. Our grass always was
eager for blood. And the rain, eager to sing the skin clean,

pulled the torn skin aside when I fell, open to inspection
by insects, I watched the water pool in the bowl of my wound,

listened to crickets divorce the dark with their legs.
Explosion is common with new birth. The wet

taught me mud, taught me womb, before fathers,
before abandoned, born with the knowledge of water.

We way we slide within our skin, barely contained.
The way teeth form a seawall, to contain our drowning.

Each storm brings the scars to the surface, my feet
to the door, eager to meet the sky halfway through its fall,

a child running to introduce himself to his father.

Weekly Write: “Kore” by Lizzie Waltner


She wears flowers.
Let’s them twist around her,
crown, ankles, wrists,
shackles. Daisies fold
in her mouth. Lilies
pulling against vocal cords.
She pretends they are heavy,
wants to sink. To let the river
Styx swallow her whole.

Sometimes, she feels more
at home when she’s drowning.
The sunlight burns her Spring
freckled cheeks – roses
aren’t supposed to wilt
in the Summer.

So, she lets herself Fall.
Be comforted in the tones
of wandering souls and
Cerberus’s howls. They are
symphony. She finds comfort
in the God that does not
pass judgement. The one that
merely watches from a throne
of ebony with the touch
of Winter.


Lizzie Waltner grew up in Rio Rancho, NM, attended ENMU for her BS in Journalism, and then completed her MA in Creative writing at Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK. She is now working as a teacher intern.

Weekly Write: “Reflections” by Maxine Peseke


I saw you this morning
slightly hurried,
one eyebrow groomed in
a somewhat socially acceptable
Excusing the other with murmurs of reassurance —
“Sisters, not twins”

you left with a smear
of toothpaste
on the corner of your lip

When I saw you saw, frazzled,
in the afternoon,
toothpaste was replaced
with a crumb from whatever
mediocre lunch you fed yourself —
but you’re only human

though it’s safe to say
the toothpaste
was a cleaner look

Regardless, you should eat more, dear.

But keep going —
I’ll send you packing
with a snack in your purse.

When you arrived home,
your eyes looked drawn;
a corner of your prided eyeliner
had streaked from some absent
midday eye rub

and really,
I thought this morning,
you should get more sleep.

But I smiled when the mirror
fogged up with steam —
you probably didn’t see —
and you wiped your face

Maxine L. Peseke is a writer, mother, and sometimes freelance editor; she also works closely with Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC, as an organizational assistant. She is currently living in a small Northern Ontario town, transplanted from New Mexico respectively where she originally met each of Saturday’s Sirens as part of the Albuquerque poetry community.

Weekly Write: “Cuba, NM Homestead” by Rene Mullen

Cuba, NM Homestead

Among dusty mustard sandstone cliffs
fragrant crusted sage
crumbling remnants
of once beloved hearth
now a wisp of memory
melting away with every rare

but torrential teardrop monsoon

In sunset shadows
each individual wall foundation stone
tells what little story
geriatric minds can muster
only to be ignored by deaf ears
of its brethren

Their only neighbor
next room over at
Ponderosa Acres
twisted skeleton juniper husk
whose bark stopped biting
before the house
gave up being home

Rene Mullen is managing editor for a PR firm in Albuquerque. A performance and traditional poet, and a mental health advocate, he is one of two 2018 Albuquerque Slam Champions. He has been a member of four poetry slam teams representing New Mexico, and has appeared on multiple regional and national stages. His poetry has been featured in Poetry Quarterly, 50 Haikus, and is author of This Still Breathing Canvas, a collection of poetry.

The long Amazon link is https://www.amazon.com/This-Still-Breathing-Canvas-Mullen/dp/B08DSX3DD2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=rene+mullen+this+still+breathing+canvas&qid=1598919217&sr=8-1

Weekly Write: “edges burn more readily than centers” by kat heatherington

edges burn more readily than centers

edges burn more readily than centers.
setting an edge alight is a simple matter,
though putting it out again may not be,
if it is inclined towards fire.
the center doesn’t light so well
unless you reach it through the edge,
take the slow route in, open its defenses.
only water will put the center out, once alight.
anything else just picks up the blaze,
amplifies, and burns.
you came pretty close to the center,
smoldering your way in from my furthest edge,
taking a lazy course through the perimeter,
tossing sparks, until suddenly, you had arrived
in the flammable heart,
and everything around you ignited.
surprised, you could only
watch it burn, turning in slow circles,
observing, unable
to reach your hands out toward the flame.

Click the image to order the heart is a muscle from Bookworks ABQ.

the heart is a muscle
by kat heatherington

Kat Heatherington is a queer ecofeminist poet, sometime artist, pagan, and organic gardener. She lives south of Albuquerque New Mexico, in Sunflower River intentional community with a varying number of other humans and cats. Kat’s work primarily addresses the interstices of human relationships and the natural world. She has one previous book, The Bones of This Land, published in 2017 by Swimming with Elephants Publications and available at Bookworks and Harvest Moon Books in Albuquerque, as well as on amazon.com. She can be found online at https://patreon.com/yarrowkat and on instagram at @sometimesaparticle. You can contact the author at yarrow@sunflowerriver.org.