Ray Ball


The fountain’s bubbling reminds me of a waterfall,
of how my parched tongue tasted the tide’s sweep as a waterfall.

My homeland was dry. I took a camel across
enemy territory to meet her at a waterfall.

We shared pomegranates. Our fingers stained
the linen sheets we brought gladly to the waterfall.

Our sweetened tongues shaped the names of both our gods.
We washed each other’s hands and feet in the waterfall.

I cupped the ball of her foot, traced arch with thumb.
Our hair entwined mahogany under the waterfall.


Ray Ball grew up in a house full of snakes. She is a history professor, a poetry editor at Coffin Bell, and the author of the chapbooks Tithe of Salt (Louisiana Literature, 2019) and Lararium (Variant Lit, 2020). Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net and have appeared in numerous journals, including descant, Glass, Orange Blossom Review, and Waccamaw.