Death By Drowning

Laura Voivodeship


drowns part-time
drowns most.

Twenty times in two years
the insistence of a story
met me, heard yes, lit up,
became greedy.

I understand the voices
they don’t tell me anything
like a crossed line on the telephone,
the voices, oh, thousands
like listening to the sea through shells.

Twenty deals in two Novembers.
In a side-street the gutter smoked
silently, its secrets
given away to a stranger.

I opened my mouth
to tell him:
I’m going to die by drowning.

I made a solider long for me,
stop thinking, tell time
in reassuring ways. He told me
a story that wouldn’t end.

It wasn’t advice, but: your eyes
We compared our eyes,
made them sad, left his stones
and my shoes on the shore,
making a point of our departure.



Laura Voivodeship was born in the UK and currently teaches English in the Middle East.