Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

A Marrow of Water

A Marrow of Water

By Alberto Ríos

Somewhere along she had begun to feel
She had clouds for bones—

They were white, and in bone shapes,
But they would not stay.

They could move, out, beyond her.
They could move over

And let him in a little
More than he knew.

When she first saw him,
When he stood next to her

He stood slightly inside her
As if the lines of their bodies

Blurred briefly,
his arm inside hers

His hip as she passed him
A little in the middle of her walk.

He put himself in her
And she did not let him out.

He moved around in her, she felt it,
Inside her but everywhere.

It was just in her dreams at first,
Then in her bones.

And inside her eyes, inside and outside
Both, it was him standing there:

She could close her eyes
And see him caught inside them.

She didn't understand this, she didn't know
This would happen.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 72, No. 4 (Winter 1998), pp. 15-16


Alberto Ríos Photo by

Cybele Knowles, University of Arizona Poetry Center

Alberto Ríos's latest collection of poems is The Dangerous Shirt. A finalist for the National Book Award, Ríos has taught at Arizona State University for more than 30 years. He has just been named the inaugural poet laureate of Arizona.

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