What I Get I Deserve

by William Snyder Jr.

We find ourselves by the river.

The far side is stone—

customs house, the city gate—

our side grassy with a gravel walk.

We are alone. There is no moon.

A street lamp sends dim shadows

to us, to the river—a gurgle

of black and silver swirling

past the bulwark stones.

I find mucus deep in my throat,

and though you hate this,

form an O with my lips

and blow, toss it

far onto the water where it bobs,

a shining dot running down. I wager

tomorrow, and tonight you’re game.

You search deep and toss.

But saliva sprays

and dribbles down your chin

and we burst

with laughter. It is women’s

singular failing, I say. You agree,

then remind me of my own.