Welcome, all, to “The Z-Line,” which is a monthly feature highlighting poems by our current Bushwick neighbors and/or natives. For the first official installment, I’m pleased to present Christine Stoddard and her poem “The Storm.”

Stand clear of the closing doors, please.

“The Storm”

No one told me

my body

was an earthquake,

my body

a hurricane,


That my body

was and will always be

the eye of the storm.

They only told me

that I was a woman,

that I was to be

placid as a lake–

yet how can I be

human if I never

thunder, if I never rain?

I am wind

and I am hail

just as I am flesh

and I am blood.

This lake will stir.

This lake will flood.

And when it’s placid,

it will hypnotize.

Poem by Christine Sloan Stoddard

Christine Sloan Stoddard is an author, artist, and the founder of Quail Bell Magazine. Her writings have appeared in The Feminist Wire, Bustle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yes! Magazine, and beyond.

If you would like to be included in this monthly series, send 3-5 poems (10 pages max) to [email protected] with the subject “The Z-Line Poetry Submission.” Poems should be attached as Word documents, 10 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced and formatted as they should appear on the site if selected.

Poems can be about anything (not exclusive to Bushwick), but contributors must live within the greater Bushwick area or be a native to the neighborhood to be featured. Please include a brief 3-5 sentence bio and your personal relation to Bushwick. If submitting previously published work, please include appropriate publication credits. You’ll only receive an email if your poem is selected for publication.

Submissions are due by the first of every month, and the selected entry will be published in the final week of the following month. The next deadline is June 1.

Featured Image by Christine Stoddard

For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.