what the water taught me
1. to be still: anything can ripple you.
anything can send a tremor
through your bones, through muscle
and tissue. through blood. anything
they say can creep.
2. to be quick: sometimes, it does not pay
to be still. sometimes
he is pulsing
over you, and you cannot be
quiet. you cannot play
dead. you have to be
quick; you have to push
his pulsing, even as he is happening
to you, even as he forces his way
into every memory.
3. to float: sometimes, you need
to distill. to creep
away from your ever-rushing body.
sometimes, you carry pebbles and drop
them one by one, create
your own drowning. sometimes, you have
to slip away into the night where no one can see
the stars reflecting off the surface of your skin,
swallowing you whole.
Charlotte Covey is from St. Mary’s County, Maryland. She currently lives in St. Louis, and she earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri -St. Louis in Spring 2018. She has poetry published or forthcoming in journals such as The Normal School, Salamander Review, CALYX Journal, the minnesota review, and the Potomac Review, among others. In 2015, she was nominated for an AWP Intro Journals Award. She works for both Lindenwood University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and she is managing editor of WomenArts Quarterly Journal.