The Lawrence Snake

By William Benton

Their faces shine,

grins dripping, that

 

came before me to

drink where I drink.

 

In the stone trough

the rippled surface

 

returns to a flat plane.

The water flows clear

 

at an imperceptible rate. What

makes it a woman

 

in the first place

purifies both. Sunlight

 

loosens her hair.

You cannot be

 

the husband of every

happiness, D. H.

___

William Benton received his early training in music, and worked as a jazz musician before becoming a writer.  He is the author of several books of poetry, including Marmalade, Normal Meanings, Eye La View, Birds, and The Bell Poems.  His poetry has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Open City, and other magazines.  He is also the author of Exchanging Hats, a book on the paintings of Elizabeth Bishop, and a novel, Madly.  He lives in New York City.


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