Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Portland

Water Can Only Wrap Me, But Life Must Hold Me

Primus St. John

A black man, from Oklahoma,
Married moisture.
Her name was Ruth.

Whenever he talked a stone
Cracked for water,
But not for doom.

Over the years she has become
Sweeter, listening
Like a horned toad;
At nights,
Wearing only her own
Horned toad clothes —
But breathing
As stong as they fit her.

It has been years...
Love and exposure have become poem.

* * *
"Water Can Only Wrap Me, But Life Must Hold Me," from Skins on the Earth by Primus St. John. Copyright © 1976. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.


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