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[Poetry] Two Poems by Alfred Fournier


How to Swim


once, you knew

your feet like flippers

beach inviting

as the heartbeat of the world



saltwater weeps

from nine trillion tons of ice

stormfront on our shores


climb to your roof

take off your shoes

strip to your skin


as water crests

above the eaves

no need to hold your breath








If I were a swallowtail folded by the river,

waiting for just the right whisp of breeze,

I’d hold the cottonwood twig lightly enough

to feel the tug and sway of life around me.


I’d find myself by losing myself

in the scent of magnolia and the smooth

sound of water easing by. I’d never doubt

my sense of what’s right, nor fear the swallow

that tomorrow may snap me from the air.


I’d let go—rise to ride that perfect swell,

a golden glow fluttering through blue

above green, until daylight yields, draped

by darkness adorned with flecks of stars.



Alfred Fournier is an entomologist, writer and community volunteer from Phoenix, Arizona. His poems have appeared in The Indianapolis Review, Welter, Amethyst Review, Third Wednesday, Gyroscope Review, Cagibi, Hole in the Head Review, and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook, "A Summons on the Wind," (2023) is available from Kelsay Books and on Amazon.


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