Sheila-Na-Gig online


Simona Carini

Born in Perugia, Italy, a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and of Mills College (Oakland, CA), Simona Carini writes poetry and nonfiction and has been published in various venues, in print and online, including Sheila-Na-Gig online, Intima – A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Italian Americana, the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, the American Journal of Nursing, Star 82 Review. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as a data scientist at an academic research institution. Her website is

On Writing

Pots of cyclamen in bloom on the porch
of the green house on Grant Street I walk past.

They have purple flowers, or white, their petals
upswept, their heart-shaped leaves silver-marbled.

Some even grew through cracks and blossomed
on each step leading up to the porch.

Some days I write like tending potted plants:
follow a routine, a path honed by craft,

knowing how to nourish, deadhead, repot.
Other days I grow words out of concrete:

they must find a crack to reach the light,
or create it with the strength of their tender shoot.

I Dive into The Pool

With each stroke
I plow into anxiety,
constant companion,
push past me
handfuls of water.
With each stroke
my body grows longer,
takes the water
flowing all around.
I shed ballast, exhale
bubbles of fear
of losing my holdfast,
our dinner table talks
and rides in the wind.
I curl up, my thoughts
all folded and tucked,
push off the wall.
My hands scoop me out
burden below water,
graceful backstrokes
to the rhythm of breathing.
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