Poem Suite: Home – The Feminist Wire

Poem Suite: Home

In our Poem Suites, we publish work by beginning and emerging witers, gathered according to theme. In this Suite, we feature three poets exploring various meanings of home.


Australian Love Story

by Noushin Arefadib


There was a time when I was unsure to call you home.

You were foreign; you spoke through your nose and mistook a sandwich for a meal.

I was younger, an outsider, a misfit.

Not entirely brown, not exactly white.

I sounded different, spoke with a twang.

Too shy to play your games, my feet felt unfamiliar against your sand.

Over the years, enchanted and embraced by your streets, your wild yellow sun, and your wilderness, I found you in my definition of home.

Your sun kissed me softly on each cheek and left me with glorious freckles I fell in love with.

Others who were also once immigrant misfits became my friends, my slumber parties, my cross your heart and hope to die, my handmade family.

Over the years I walked along your foreshore.

Your river welcomed me as she washed up against rocks I had counted

and jellyfish that I told myself danced only for me.

Your ocean became my ocean and she swept me off my feet.

It was a love affair painted with longings of blue when you met this girl from the East.

You are home, you are warmth, you are joy. You shall forever remain my point of each return.





by Allison Stroud Magnus


You live in Chicago,

a house on 92th street–

a 1930’s English castle complete

with turret sedately

tacked to the left side

and viney brick walls

to break the stench of traffic.


Your room is pale, pleated with

books and Nutcracker posters,

and another poster

of a pink cloven pair

of toe points thrusts downward

above your bed, large enough


you are able to see

the tendons strain just so

slightly beneath the

milky film of stockings

each time you open your door.

.       You are twelve.


What people never

notice is how

quickly dirt comes

dancing from the soles

across the toes

after a first hour


in a new pair of points,

or the way your sweat

smells different, is beginning

to eat out the inner lining at

the crotch of your leotard,

bore holes like acid in the arm pits.


The little girls in your classes

all speak even now

with hands crooked backwards

as if dangling

a flapper’s cigarette holder,

as if dropping back


into the lightly cupped hands

of the visiting master

who tells you to arch

your back just so,

elongate your leg like this, as he

skims his hand down the pointed


ridge of muscle until it seems

like a dragon fly’s wings

quivering inside you, like rainbows

on puddles of industrial waste,

until your toes curl so tightly

that you feel they must break.




This Woman Kisses

by Jessica McWhirt


You always saw things bigger than I did,

like the hill in Howth you called a mountain

after the ten minute hike to the top.

You grabbed my hand as we stood

like we were back in middle school:

shaky, sweaty palms, cold fingers.

You took me under the canopy

of folding branches

like we were back in the Secret Garden.

You thought it was romantic,

that we could hold each other

beneath this green, leafy umbrella.

I kept watch for someone lurking

behind the trees.


Our first kiss was right outside

my bathroom, you leaving the seat up, no less.

You thought yourself charming

as you leaned through the crack in the door,

holding my cheek in your hand,

pulling me in and kissing me.

I was waiting for that kiss too,

but I also had to pee.


This kiss was better than

the ones I had with my boyfriend back home.

Your tongue played with my tongue –

it didn’t try to wrestle it, or pin it down,

or make it beg for mercy. It was good.

Soothing; like the itch in the middle of your back

you can’t reach, but a friend can,

and when they scratch your back,

the rest of your body tingles in relief.


You always saw things bigger than I did.

When we slipped under the sheets

I called it ‘sex’

and you called it ‘making love.’

You said it was ‘amazing’

and I thought it was ‘good.’

You didn’t care that you had a long day

but I was concerned about

waking up in two hours.


You wouldn’t leave that night.

I think that’s when you knew

you loved me,

and you knew I was leaving in three days,

after spending four weeks together.


You hugged your body around

mine as if trying to memorize

the curves of my ribs;

where the colors of my tattoos

fused with my skin,

and all I wanted to do was sleep.


photoNoushin Arefadib is an Iranian born Australian, currently residing in New Delhi, India. Noushin is a passionate human rights activist and writes as a way of expressing her thoughts and feelings toward personal and social issues.





Allison Stroud has Masters in Creative Writing though Southern illinois University at Edwardsville, and teaches College Literature courses through Kaskaskia College. She is married with one daughter. She loves poetry, photography, rides dressage and does volunteer work for a Siberian Husky Rescue League.  She has just begun pursuing publication of her poetry this year.


JessicaMcWhirt-Speculum_Spectrum-jess_cliffJessica McWhirt is a Colorado native. She has a degree in Political Science and English from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She drinks cider. She hums when there’s a lull in the conversation. She sings in the shower and would eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if she could. Jessica writes articles for College Femme. Recent poems can be found in The Battered Suitcase, Bolts of Silk, The Fbomb, Breadcrumb Scabs, a short story in Pens on Fire, and a political essay in e-International Relations.