Immigrant

Dona Luongo Stein

I used to breathe in water, somewhat salty.
I saw dim shapes, felt wobble and jolt

the constant companion of a beat,
a soft mallet on a stretched skin

I thought I wanted to evade until
it became part of me and I panicked

when it seemed to fade.  Sometimes a long hum,
a sigh washed through me; I tried replying

and my feet drummed sponge-like walls.  I did not know
I was alone until an enormous

force pushed then pulled me from my home,
rolled, pummeled me, forced me into

uproar and din and horrifying light.

Dona Luongo Stein

Dona Luongo Stein, a former Wallace B. Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford University, has been awarded writing fellowships, residencies, and publication awards. She has taught literature and writing at Tufts, Stanford, Santa Clara, and San Jose State Universities as well as the University of Northern Colorado and the University at Santa Cruz. Stein produced and hosted “The Poetry Show” on KRFC FM in Fort Collins, Colorado, for ten years. Publications in journals, anthologies, and online include three collections, plus Alice in Deutschland (Jacaranda Press, 2011) and Leaving Greece (Shanti Arts Press, 2018).


I used to breathe in water, somewhat salty. I saw dim shapes, felt wobble and jolt the constant companion of a beat, a soft mallet on a stretched skin I thought I wanted to evade until it became part of me and I panicked when it seemed to fade.  Sometimes a long hum, a sigh …

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