by Melissa Studdard

Here on the altar of alteration
on the aisle of isle
banned by the band, bandied
in the banter. Emergent now as touch—
the hand a jam of path formation,
i.e., a standing ovation, i.e. stadium wave.
The animal brain, no I mean ecosystem,
no, stock market crash
learns to adapt. We understand the goose
not the V formation. The fish
not the shoal. Here in the reign of
uncertain rain
we skate, above the sum of our somes,
two of I to lie beside slight sleights.
We open the accident in vain
but no matter. These veins are fertile:
the swamp we swam—
a filthy evolution, I mean revolution,
no, I mean love.


About the Author:

Melissa Studdard is the author of the poetry collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast and the young adult novel Six Weeks to Yehidah. Her writings have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Harvard Review, New Ohio Review, Bettering American Poetry, Poets & Writers, and more. In addition to writing, she serves as executive producer and host of VIDA Voices & Views for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and president of the Women’s Caucus for the Association of Writers and Poets. To learn more, visit

Cover image by Richard Ling via Flickr (cc).