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River of Rivers

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And if it rose at last, the river of rivers,
from where it sweeps between its walls of original green

to inundate the mansion of the retail millionaire
or the clever princeling of the stripped paperback,

would it carry off each Lladró figurine,
the kissing swans, the newlyweds’ glistening gooseneck,

the chubby cupidon with his leathern pouch
full of live human hearts, the lady doctor

with her white lab coat or the tippy geisha
with a mirror in one hand and a narcissus in the other,

all the trash of anniversaries and achievements
tilting and bobbing toward the wide light of the estuary

past snowdrops lovely in the April floodplain
and arrowheads scattered in the loam of the hill,

leaving the mind more capable than ever before,
freed, for the moment, from its obsessions—or

would the mundane and persistent weight,
bearing down and down, so outlast delight

as to prove merely insupportable
to the marcelled copper waves with each new mile,

shining around the curve like a bent pin
and out of view into the strengthening sun,

unless there should appear some Christopher,
his brow sparkling with wrath, his heart tender,

caught in his binary stride just at mid-channel
(as the landing light blinked on and off on my wall

all night), the water dimpling round his thighs,
by whom this could be felt as something else?

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