Gargoyle 11
cover etching by Scott McIntyre
publication date 5/25/1979


Bringing a Drink of Water to the Bed

Lyn Lifshin

somehow much warmer
more like a mouth and lips
and arms than any
drink brought in the day

except for the blended pear
peaches and cherries
thru a glass straw
on a day i didn’t
go to school my
father would bring me
water rubbing my back

nights drinking the
water so slow to
keep someone with me

one husband did that
till i fell asleep
brought guava juice
when the moon was over
diamond head and my legs felt
watery from demerol

and drove to get coffee
before it was light
in provincetown a june
when we thought
we could

nights i’ve been so
thirsty nothing could help

nights in hudson
grapefruit glass with ice
near the mattress on the floor
and in the room with no fire
december under five
carriage blankets
ice crystals on the rim by dawn

tonight i touched myself
brought up pomegranate juice
but couldn’t sleep

water was dripping when i
woke up from a dream of those
who loved me bringing

melons full of something cool
my mother with milk
i don’t flush down the toilet
for the first time my
father has something green
and the lover who will leave
has just brought me a huge
jar of coke it will take
at least 3 years to drink