The Quickening

       (at twenty weeks pregnant)

One morning at the beach, a girl tipped
a bucket of fish in my lap

and I was rudely hauled up
out of myself, left reeling in the shock of cold slick

bodies on my bare skin, their eerie
iridescence drowning out the heat, in the slipperiness

between our worlds,
in the scales laid out like tiles on a roof

and which, in another life,
might have unfurled as feathers on a wing.

Katharine Rauk is the author of the chapbook Basil (Black Lawrence Press 2011) and has poems published in Harvard Review, Paper Darts, Anti-, Hobart, Revolver, and elsewhere. She teaches in the Twin Cities.