Holy Water

A Poem

By Lilly Perry

We kiss while the water is running out.
I’m not from here.
I’m not made like you, from sun, but your heat swirls inside me while the drought soldiers on,
We humans- always flirting with war,
the rich and the white always reckless with things that are not ours,
and I’m not immune.
I’ve been a taker before. But baby-
I want to savor every drop of you, I’ve got my tongue out in the storm,
I want to collect you up in buckets,
I want to spill you on the floor,
just to lick you back up slowly,
just to see how you transform,
Happy Sunday.
Let me worship you the way you know you deserve.
Where desire is a dogma, where we covenant with curves
and if it rained today,
would you consider me baptized?
Would you consider me new?
Because I’d rather be recycled, like the rain,
like all my past lives with you…

But the rain isn’t coming. Any time soon.
So we kiss while the water is running out.
I appreciate you.
I appreciate the shape of your sounds inside my mouth,
Natural, as a spring,
Natural, as a cloud,
Natural as our bodies giving thanks in the way that we know how…
and even natural things run out,
So look at me.
Look at me.
And show me you’re here now.

The tin roof is so quiet these days.
Everyone wants to know why.
They say the planet is changing, they say there’s too much carbon dioxide,
and some say your city is being punished but
you don’t believe in that kind of god,
and I only believe in this kind of heaven,
with your marrow in my bones,
where your pulse counts my seconds,
You-
are the best thing I ever believed in,
so I’ll pray if you want me to,
to the universe celebrating itself deep inside you,
and you can pray for the rain.
To whoever you pray to.
I trust your faith and your culture and all the ancestors behind you,
I come from a people of greed,
who say more and not thank you,
from a whiteness that profits off pain,
from a country that passes without greeting you…
but I’d like to unlearn indulgence.
I’d rather be sober than hazy,
I’d like to greet you each morning like o robetše jwang, baby?
I’ll never take you for granted,
I’ll never make love to you carelessly,
when you give, I’ll say thank you ,
if it ends, I’ll think of you fondly,
and yes- I’m afraid of day zero.
For you and your city,
So I’m bathing in my bucket and hand washing the laundry,
I’m present and mindful and so fucking happy but,
Baby.

If the rain does come-
Do you think it could turn us into an ocean?
Do you think we could be so deep, we would seem to just… keep going?
Do you think we could be so salty that everyone’s burdens would just float in us,
Do you think our waters, could be so holy, that even the gods would come skinny dipping in us?


Water and Other Bodies is a collection of poetry written by Lilly Perry. You can listen to this project on SoundCloud.