We Have Permission

We can swim here—
only fish and shells
to glide with, a full
alternate below-world.
A single language
where breath and tears
are invisible, muted darkness
making us all blind.
There is no infection,
just the industry
of movement.
The sea is borderless,
the safest place, the place
searched for, surged toward
where all walls fall
under the surface.


Click here to read Sarah Dickenson Snyder on the origin of the poem.


Image: “1706” by Franco Vannini, licensed under CC 2.0.

Sarah Dickenson Snyder:
I started this poem sitting on a beach in South Carolina as the pandemic started, feeling like so much of my life was being prescribed. I liked the idea of thinking about where and when I would feel free to live my life. Still, I feel trapped and confined by rules back home in Vermont but remember the vastness of the sea and feel free as I dive into our pond in summer. No disease underwater, no place for wall-building and separation.

Sarah Dickenson Snyder
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