Published on Academy of American Poets (

Elegy in Limestone

If the water, everywhere, and if she

is. If ghosts, like water, like if all

rivers and oceans and rains are one

ghost, surrounding and throughout.

If she is, like if the lakes and bays

of Seattle define Seattle, if the ices

Of Mars and Massachusetts,

hidden in their deep stones, define

Mars and Massachusetts; if she is.

A thirst unmet, alkaline or saline,

the water not touching that thirst,

if my thirst wants something else

entirely. If she is. Water, if it is in

and is blood. If invisible until

exhale. If science lies and water

doesn’t reflect sky but sky this

water. If she is the sound, if it isn’t

essential until its lack. If she is

the sound of. Waves. If in the body,

the dew in morning, and the moon.

If she is the sound of the water.

If rising, if breaking, if throughout.


Copyright © 2013 by CJ Evans. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 16, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem

"In the places I've lived—Seattle, Portland, New York, San Francisco—water is everywhere, dictating the landscapes and cities, even though in my day-to-day life I so often forget to consciously see it. And loss is the same as water—everywhere around and within, even when not consciously attended to. Loss becomes the unacknowledged dictator of the entire landscape."
CJ Evans


CJ Evans

CJ Evans is the author of A Penance (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2012). He is the editor of Two Lines Press and lives in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Date Published: 2013-04-16

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