Plain China

Re: Backstroke

by Michaela Cowgill · American University
Running Shadows, Alexis Inguaggiato · Yale University

A boy falls into the Northwood lake.

Everything is on fire and blue;

all the wax melted off his wings.

Upside down, on his back, thrashing and raking the blue.

He looks like someone I know.

One arm rising up into the cotton sheet of the sky,

the other swinging down to grab thick mud.

Waving to the red-throated loon above,

loving the brook trout with their smooth bellies below.

He almost looks happy.

I call out to him again and again.

About the Author

Michaela Cowgill · American University

Senior Michaela Cowgill studies literature with an emphasis on creative writing. She has been published in The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and elsewhere. She was brought up on the seacoast of New Hampshire and likes the ocean best in the winter. Her poem first appeared in American University’s undergraduate journal, AmLit

About the Artist

Alexis Inguaggiato · Yale University

New Jersey native Alexis Honoria Inguaggiato discovered her passion for photography as a freshman. Initially working with black-and-white analog, she is currently exploring the suffocation of everyday domestic roles through abstracted bodies, compressed limbs, pinned appendages, and strange textures through digital manipulation. Running Shadows first appeared in the Yale Literature Review. More of her work can be found here.