What Any Lover Learns
Water is heavy silver over stone.
Water is heavy silver over stone’s
Refusal. It does not fall. It fills. It flows
Every crevice, every fault of the stone,
Every hollow. River does not run.
River presses its heavy silver self
Down into stone and stone refuses.
Swirling and leaping into sun, is stone’s
Refusal of the river, not the river.
Archibald MacLeish, from Collected Poems 1917–1982, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1985.