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Love Letter to Water

By Derek R. Smith

Our bodies may be 70% water

But mine wants more

I wish to be of water, be from water

Water is erotic

When I dip my summerless leg

Into the nervy cold

Of stream revived by

Mountain snowmelt waters

I love and relish the pain of it

And when reuniting with the ocean

After pausing for too long

It’s love affair revived

The gentle waves smacking your rear

The fear and joy of discovering

What it will do next

When floating, it’s consent

It’s asking water in,

Showing water every part of you.

Becoming once again one with it

We are braiding water

Streaming ourselves into

Something everywhere and everything.

There’s an ancient water language

There are words we didn’t

Know we know

And yet we speak this instinctual

Aqua dialect

Without effort or understanding

The nourishment water,

The steadiness of it.


Derek R. Smith (he/him) is a public health professional, Anishinaabe two-spirit, uncle, sibling, partner, friend, who finds it hard to not write poetry. He has 2023 publications in Great Lakes Review, ¡Pa’lante!, San Pedro River Review, euphony, Inlandia, Passionfruit Review, Lucky Jefferson and others. There is no space for distance here, in poetry, and isn’t that a beautiful thing?

You can find him on Instagram.


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