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March 28th, 2023 | Eleni Polinska

For three years,

I didn’t read a single book,

I was too busy longing at the water’s edge,

wandering alone at night, only 18, thinking

I could walk beyond these rocks and let the waves

swallow me whole. I don’t remember much, now, just

the rushing water and the way my brain went quiet in the bleak air.

Quiet, in the bleak air, Virginia Woolf died today, 82 years ago.

I came to know how she walked into the brisk River Ouse when

I was 13 and couldn’t sleep. I lay awake staring into the dark

water rushing across the guest room’s plaster ceiling.

In the dark water, I heard her last sighing breath

in the torrential polyphony that flowed across

my eyes squeezed tight. I’ve been haunted

by rivers ever since, as if her ghost

will rush out and pull me in

to make a metaphor of me

like she made

a symbol of

the waves


Eleni Polinska is a poet, student, and whatnot from Ohio. She loves the woods, cemeteries, and playing pretend. She is working on many things all the time, including but not limited to: graduate school applications, a poetry collection, traveling the world, an encyclopedia of alien flora, and learning to bake fancy pastries.


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