Help Us Stay Paywall-Free

We rely on readers to keep our website open to all. Help sustain a public space for collective reasoning and imagination—make a tax-deductible donation today.

One day you were born on an airboat in a bight. You stood up in the airboat’s flat foot
and took the jar of water. You looked through the floating teeth of algae and said bah. You said

nah. You said aAAAL. You bared your teeth and emptied the jar. When you were
in the Everglades we canoed from Flamingo and through the canals. It was the 1980s. You thought

the crocodile was an alligator and I corrected you. Many people don’t know that crocodiles live here
too. I put you back in my stomach to avoid the smell at the Flamingo visitor’s center.

Which reminded me of Hurricane Andrew, and I’ve decided to lie about before you were born.
As a sort of test of the genetic trauma theory. When we got back to our little barracks studio

you curled up in the cup of a saw palmetto outside my bedroom, slapped a mosquito off your arm,
rubbed your eyes. One day you were born on the only hill in the Everglades in 2020.

Morning glory and saw palmetto covered the razed bed of invasive Brazilian pepper.
You curled in a mat of flowers I did not recognize, and wind peppered your body

with gumbo limbo scale. Another day you were born in a gator trail on Old Ingraham Highway
and another day on the southwestern tip of Florida cradled in turtle shell, and once you were born

in the detention center on 376th, but mostly you were born in a canoe, into flowing silk
of reed, and the bladderwort cleaned your body with their suckling cups like feeding fish,

and then once too oh yes you walked
out of the fire, broken open by flame, walked out soft and raw and peeled as bark.

Leah Claire Kaminski’s poems have appeared in Bennington Review, Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, Rhino, the Rumpus, and ZYZZYVA. Poetry Editor for the Dodge, Leah has three chapbooks published or forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, Harbor Editions, and Milk and Cake Press. Read her work or get in touch at

Donate Today

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.

Most Recent

Lewis Gordon and Nathalie Etoke discuss the space for freedom opened up by Black existentialist thought.

Nathalie Etoke, Lewis Gordon

The post-work movement reckons with reproductive labor.

Rachel Fraser

Melvin Rogers and Neil Roberts discuss the difficulty of keeping faith in a foundationally anti-Black republic.

Melvin Rogers, Neil Roberts

Just in time for the holidays, get any three print issues of Boston Review for just $35 – that’s 40% off the cover price!

Before December 9, mix and match any three issues for one low price using code 3FOR35.

Just in time for the holidays, get any three print issues of Boston Review for just $35 – that’s 40% off the cover price!

Before December 9, mix and match any three issues for one low price using code 3FOR35.

We can't publish without your support.

For nearly 50 years, Boston Review has been a home for collective reasoning and imagination on behalf of a more just world.

But our future is never guaranteed. As a small, independent nonprofit, we have no endowment or single funder. We rely on contributions from readers like you to sustain our work.

If you appreciate what we publish and want to help ensure a future for the great writing and constructive debate that appears in our pages, please make a tax-deductible donation today.

"An indispensable pillar of the public sphere."

That’s what sociologist Alondra Nelson says of Boston Review. Independent and nonprofit, we believe in the power of collective reasoning and imagination to create a more just world.

That’s why there are no paywalls on our website, but we can’t do it without the support of our readers. Please make a tax-deductible donation to help us create a more inclusive and egalitarian public sphere—open to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.