By John Rybicki b. 1961 John Rybicki

For Julie

If I could tie a river around my love’s waist like ribbon,
              make sails out of her blood
and pin down death like a squirming bug.

If I could lift and rock each coffin in my arms
              I would start with hers.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011


Poet John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of the poetry collections Traveling at High Speeds (1996) and We Bed Down Into Water: Poems (2008). His third collection, When All the World Is Old (2012), was written in response to the long illness and death of his wife, the poet Julie Moulds. His poems have been published in The Best American Poetry 2008, Alaska Quarterly Review, Field, Paris Review, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, Time & Brevity, Love, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.