“Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”

It looks like dancing the merengue, 


like reading Anna Karenina on a tablet in the dark car, 

the window’s greening glow against the night. 


Or: like the horse in the stall waiting for the gun 

and the gate thumping open. 


Maybe refraction through a shattered bottle, 

the way the sun splits it into colors. 


It looks like the woman you pretended

not to know at the supermarket

praying among the pickles. 


That one. She’s singing. Don’t tell me 

you don’t know the words. 



Rachel Richardson is the author of two books of poems, Copperhead (2011) and Hundred-Year Wave (forthcoming 2016), both from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University. Her poetry and prose appear in Guernica, New England Review, Kenyon Review Online, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. A contributing editor at Memorious, she lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.