most everyone we know is swimming

by Mela Blust


with tired arms and legs
through a syrupy sea of antidepressants
where the only land in sight moves farther away.

there, a man raises a flailing arm for help
and someone on the distant shore holds up a sign
that reads "sending love and prayers". 

on the nearly barren land behind them
a wildfire with unimaginable teeth devours the tree line
in the distance, the soft music of children's fingers against the bars of a cage.

calendar pages turn and turn
and everything is exactly the same,
except for when it's worse.

we are swimming in our best clothes for picture day.
our whitest shirts to highlight the blooms of blood
that will surely find us all.

Mela Blust is an award-nominated poet whose works have appeared in many literary journals and magazines. Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available from Apep Publications, and her full length collection, They Found a Woman's Body, is available through Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. Mela is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine and can be followed at