Denise Low


Reproductive Invariance

By the river years ago, recursive in memory, a
finite moment, the past ended. Future began.

The river flowed south. You were a man's face
floating among stones.

By a river in autumn, willow leaves were yellow
whisks in updrafts. We were not alone.

Cottonwood boles twisted against banks, turtles
dozed in the roots, bark slivered into water.

The river sounded the swish of its name. You
waded the Neosho as it meandered east.

Two sandhill cranes fly overhead. Their legs
stretch straight behind as they swim through air.
Their grace is the river's.

No one saw flood-seined silt, gravel, broken
mussel pearls. I stayed, you left.

By the river I met you each day. I meet you each
day. I will be meeting you in invariant futures.

By the river leaves turn. Mud cracks pentagonal
shapes. You return and leave. The river remains.

By the river I was a child, I am grown. I remember
water pooled, not moving.
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