in caring

by Steven Pirani

affection growing in peculiar places
streams flowing upwards flowing outwards
familiar people passing closely 
faces we recognize but cannot place
reticent things said in murmurs

rings held between hands held between teeth
words written in french written in script
stems wrapped in petals wrapped in paper
lipstick on a napkin in the wind
trepidatious brushing hands

a green river rushing at night
water flowing backward up the mountain
things we sign with a heart
what we only write for ourselves
those we care for in secret