01Astraea. Winter03

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Researching ocean buffering, Ozark-It-Starts-On-The-Page, bach etal 2016, gender-and-the-politics-of-history, English I-II Honors Course Syllabus, Syllabus for Honors English 12, 357-Humanomics-Syllabus-Interterm-2019, COURSE GUIDE ENG372 - ENGLISH POETRY, Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, Underwater Women in Shakespeare Films

Lu Vickers
Samiya Bashir
Winter 2003
F O UN DAT ION 2bLetter from Executive Director Katherine Acey

Astraea hosts New York debut of Radical Harmonies
Meet our latest International Grantees
Astraea Member Dorothy Abbott, In Her Own Words
Fire & Ink Conference held in Chicago
What’s Inside
continued on page 5
One Small Step
She dons rubber gloves and
cotton mitts, surgeonic sweat
coats her brow, dots her lips.
I reach up fora kiss.
We stole the pink plastic cup
from the kiddie korner at
the clinic, handmade iithe tube from an enema
bottle, bought at a
99-cent store.
Sometimes we like it fresh.
sometimes frozen.
Her brother, only 19, has
much to give, needs
no great notice.
She reminds me
she’s loved me for almost
a decade, will love me for
centuries more – I always
get nervous at this moment.
I want to moan, raise my hips
to meet her hand, reach into
the forest of her hair,
whisper things.
I want to run to the back
of the wardrobe we share,
cower behind denims and silks.
She reaches up fora kiss,
returns her focus to our task.
We complete the operation,
and wait.
Samiya Bashir
Breathing Underwater
Lu Vickers
Mama didn’t move. I struggled to keep afloat, beat the water with my hands. She was going to let me drown and was weighing her gains against her losses.
Watching me, eyes flat as pennies. I was Not the Right Kind of Girl. Never had been. Panicked, I went under again, holding my breath, my chest about to burst. I sank even though I kicked hard against the water.
Then there was an explosion, a blur of bubbles.
Mama jumped into the canal next tome and sank beneath the surface, facing me, her eyes wide open.
Her skin was waxy-looking underwater, like the worm on Maisey’s hook. She held her hands out tome, scissored her legs. Her red hair floated above her head like silky grass. Silver bubbles leaked out of her mouth and nose. She clutched my hands and we sank deeper, where there was no sound. The water grew dark green in my mouth, the color of trees when night is falling. Her face was a question mark. That was the last I saw of her before everything went black. I floated backward through space,
twitching like Maisey’s worm, sinking, a voice whirling through my head, wish I’d never had you.

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