Between a Rock and a Hard Place

juliette givhan


I don’t know if one is more Scylla

than Charybdis,

but my sisters are fighting

& this time it’s serious.


My body

                the boat

ballast heavy & sun browned,

struggles to sail straight—

carve a path dead center,

avoid their fallout.


My body

                the boat

sucked down—

funneled to ocean floor to break,

flood, rend apart, gasp back up,

dashed to the shore

in pieces



My body

                in remnants,

dragged up the rock —

scraped, devoured,

shredded against the bones

of gulls & a history


words that only bridge the strait between them

by carving first into me.




Juliette Givhan is a Black poet who writes about myths and memes. Her work appears in ANMLY Magazine, Change Seven Magazine, Two Hawks Quarterly, with forthcoming poems in Pidgeonholes Magazine and baest Journal.