Before the Visa Expires by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Before the Visa Expires

Elizabeth Kate Switaj

you wake up in the wrong kind of light
and twist your leg in ex-white sheets

 before you remember you are me &
 booked the cab when I thought one bottle
  of the grain alcohol I still can’t say
would suffice

                 Can I be you until Resolve
                   makes my head fit inside
                     my head again

                       until the announcement to close the shades
                         people are trying to sleep but polite
                           cuts us off from the waves below
and the noon & the sunset
that chase our contrails

                            won’t catch us until we have smoothies
                             bigger than my fixed head in hand

until you remember you’re just me
your lips touch mine, your hands know where in my folds to lie
and I don’t remember having a reason
to fly again
             at least metal wings are less likely to break

                  and then the hotel alarm rings
            twenty minutes to taxi three hours until I leave the country.

About the Author

Since completing her MFA at New College of California in 2004, Elizabeth Kate Switaj has published Magdalene & the Mermaids (Paper Kite Press), Shanghai (Gold Wake Press), and The Broken Sanctuary: Nature Poems (Ypolita Press). She is currently an Editorial Assistant for Irish Pages and a doctoral candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. For more information visit