Jennifer Poteet The 2River View, 5.1 (Fall 2000)

A Bloody Evening on the Thames

She leaves in a hiss of skirt
and perfume,
about the price of a trinket I didn't buy her,
or something she thought
I said.

The river, at least, shimmers calm.
I shiver in the quiet.
How cold would it be if I let myself drop into the water below?
I would love to know.

Sheepish now and sober,
my sparring partner slinks
back under the shadows of the bridge,
a checkered paper boat
of steaming
fish and chips
aloft in her tiny hands.

We take it
down to the bones;
the vinegar, sweet
until there's nothing left
and that's all we can ever share.

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2River All is well.