Everything on campus looks the same,

but I’m viewing it from underwater.


I shake my head to clear my vision.

All I see is a mask and eyes.


I swim toward the surface, gasp for air.

Where the hell am I?


How could I critique pure reason today?

Or parse the lines of Paradise Lost?


It’s all a big joke. What I need is a life rope.

Someone, please, pull me to shore.



Margaret DeRitter is a journalist and poet who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her dog, Murray. Her home was invaded by two men in 1978, and she and her college friends were raped that night. She has written a chapbook on the subject that she is hoping to get published. Her poetry has appeared in New Verse News, The 3288 Review, Pocket Change, Melancholy Hyperbole, Midnight Circus and Scarlet Literary Magazine and is forthcoming in the anthology Surprised by Joy (Wising Up Press).