This week’s poem, Karin Spitfire’s “Crossing,” ponders the baffling co-dynamics of light and loss. I love the elemental, archetypal juxtapositions of this poem, the “confounding lack/gorging on light.” I also love the stripped-down candor of the speaker as she grapples with such a seemingly impossible transition, from being to not.

Spitfire is the author of “The Body in Late Stage Capitalism” (2021), “Standing with Trees” (2005), and the chapbook “Wild Caught.” She served as poet laureate of Belfast in 2007 and 2008. Spitfire thanks radical intersectional feminist activism and the rocky coast of Wabanaki territory for fostering her fierce, compassionate heart.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, Indigenous writers, LGBTQ writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

By Karin Spitfire

There is
for the sake of every
white bone
stumbled on in the woods
or buried in the ritual of its sect
the glowing
biluminous firmament
receiving the soul into its

this must

and does not
repeatedly running into
the brick wall of Gone
where you once were
full blooded, joke pulling,
jerk face, you

this confounding lack
gorging on light
does not articulate
the stealth passage, the ride
over the river Styx
shedding the encumbrance
of being.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Crossing,” copyright 2012 by Karin Spitfire, was originally published in Trivia: Voices of Feminism. It appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to

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