New Publication, Old Memory

Two years ago I was in Paris. I was there for study abroad, which I never though I would be able to do because of the cost, but I was miraculously able to get enough scholarships to fund the entire trip, and so off I went to Paris for July 2018. And there I met some of my very best friends (and roommates) to this day. Exactly two years ago, 3 July 2018, I met one of my very best friends who is also my roommate, and I knew right away that this was a person who would be important in my life for a very long time. I am feeling soft and sappy, forgive me. I feel like I could talk about us and that trip forever.

In Spring 2018, I started writing poetry seriously for the first time. (This is why my poetry masterdoc is still to this day called "Poems 2018.") And that summer, I made it a goal to write one poem every week. So when I went away to France in July for four weeks, I knew that meant four Paris poems were ahead of me. Even today, these four poems are some of my favorite poems.

As I think it is with every study abroad experience or maybe just travel experience while young, this trip was incredibly emotionally charged and fraught and manic and depressed and infinitely, irrevocably wonderful. I think this is apparent in this little collection of poems that is so dense with sensation and experience.

So I am so excited that my final Paris poem, "Summer Bodies," was just recently published in Lucky Jefferson's 365 Collection, which is the second of this group of these poems to achieve publication. I started this poem in Paris and finished back home at my parent's house in Central PA. Even though I came back with only a carry-on suitcase, I came home with an enormous amount of emotional baggage I didn't now how to unpack. But I also came home with some of my very best friends, who I would later reunite with in Philadelphia.

Reading any of these poems, but especially "Summer Bodies," is like pressing on a bruise, but in the best way. I hope you can feel that ache, too.

To read the poem online, click here.

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© 2020 by Abigail Swoboda.