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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