if there is a river more beautiful than this bright as the blood red edge of the moon if there is a river more faithful than this returning each month to the same delta if there is a river braver than this coming and coming in a surge of passion, of pain if there is a river more ancient than this daughter of eve mother of cain and of abel if there is in the universe such a river if there is some where water more powerful than this wild water pray that it flows also through animals beautiful and faithful and ancient and female and brave
Lucille Clifton, "poem in praise of menstruation" from Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1991 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
This poem is in the public domain.