the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




William L. Alton


It comes down to the fingers,
how they whisper
over the skin
of your lover's throat.
There are some things
better left unsaid,
but love isn't one of them.
Without sunlight
there are no shadows
and without shadows
there are no secrets.
Secrets make us sexy.
It's the barely naked breast
catches the eye.
Hair hides the perfect face.



It's hard not to notice
when she rises from the pool,
red hair draped over a shoulder
like a mat. Water sheets
from her shoulders and hips.
She has hips like a woman has hips.

I cannot hear the sound when she laughs
at something someone says. But her teeth
are white even from here.


I Am Not a Gardener

The marigolds in my wife's garden guard
the tomato plants from white flies.
At least that's what I think she said.
I know nothing of these things.
Flowers are pretty as long as someone else
handles them. Tomatoes are sweet
on someone else's vine.



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