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THE GARDEN / Rick Lyon I hadn't noticed the path in the shrubbery outside the lodging house leading into a smaU bower and down five mossy stone steps to a sunken garden. Lisette took me by the hand and led me in: its Uttle pool in the middle and stone benches in a ring, a green refuge from the world, as peaceful as a mild summer evening. We walked quickly through and out the other side, no more deeply in love now— the garden of our own natures we'd discovered. It soon appeared in her paintings, the lovers embracing, entwined Uke vines, the garden of flesh and blood. 244 · The Missouri Review RUE DES DEUX PONTS /Rick Lyon The muddy river runs through the city of Ught, swift-flowing, threatening sometimes to rise up over its banks, where the centuries-old limestone brown buUdings stand, having seen it all, having witnessed so much water rushing past, under low-arched bridges, bending widely around the elegant city, as if to say, stay with me and, again, you can never stay with me. AU the high-flown statuary, marble and bronze, drifts in time now— monumental, subUme—it drifts and becomes something pure, free, Uke music, changing the way love must change, in time. I give it back to you now, your city, Uke a piece of music, like a gift we'U never be able to keep. The Missouri Review · 145 CRABAPPLE / Rick Lyon The ratty Uttle crabapple, tangled with vines, has somehow sprung up in the muddy tidal swamp, blossoming as beautifully, white, as any of the fine tony trees in town. Maybe the tree's a bit bedraggled: it's a maverick, obviously, sprung from a seed blown in from somewhere, and probably hasn't flowered till now, this spring, making me think of you, the way you first appeared to me, natural and aUen, as if you were there aU along, unnoticed. I lose myself in everything these days— the solitary tree in its Uttle swamp, bursting with white blossoms now, the thick spiral strands of your dark hair, being where you are, too. 246 · The Missouri Review THE POND I Rick Lyon One place we go together, on these illicit summer days, is where the famous soütary man found peace. He'd broken the law too. Down in its Uttle vaUey, surrounded by pines, the smaU pond's our world where we're at ease and the city's forgotten. The kids play in the sand, the sun shines, the swimmers emerge from the water Uke purified souls and the pines have a singular creaking voice. Love brought us here, likewise. A hundred years won't make a difference in what makes it so: the truth, plainly spoken, won't fade, the way the banks crumble back into the lake and have to be supported. Too many people have walked here, and too few. The Missouri Review · 147 THE DANCE / Rick Lyon Being slow to grasp the intricate emotional tugs-of-war lovers, especially, subject themselves to, I faUed to see how my friend construed my talking awhUe with a stranger in a bar as flirting with her. If she was flirting with me, I hadn't noticed. She wanted to dance and soon found some towering guy to obUge her. But by then my friend, my lover, made me pay for the indiscretion I wasn't aware I'd committed. She ran off and found some man to dance with— the place was full of lumbering, boozed-up males— to make me jealous, obviously. I didn't reaUze she wanted to be reclaimed— and should've said excuse me, she's dancing with the wrong man— so she was forced to chase me. I pushed her away, coldly. Back home, we fought and she threatened to leave in the night but finally I said somehow, cornering her, I wouldn't let her leave, which was aU she wanted to hear, apparently. Whether we made love furiously that night, the next morning, doesn't matter, when nothing about us now wasn't raging, even bliss. 148 ' The Missouri Review THE DEVOTIONS / Rick Lyon Away from...


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