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edward palmquist

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the river

2008

The sand was cold where we sat.

Gentle waves teased the shore.
Street lamps glowed
pale in the distance.
There were people walking
along the other side of the river
“Ignore them,” you said.
Your hands were cold in mine
they always were.

“I love you,” I claimed
unaware of what the word entailed.
I drew you closer
and kissed you.
First your neck
your cheek
lightly on your ear.
All to banish the night’s chill.

I clenched the folds
of your faux leather jacket
for that too I sought to hold forever.
You smiled coyly at the current
as if watching my naïve confession
being carried downstream.
Did you know even then
how this all would end?

The city was quiet
as the river passed through it all
and the water’s surface
like your eyes
reflected the moon.

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