Friday, March 02, 2007

A Poem that Might be about S-E-X.

Maybe this poem is about sex. Maybe it's just about this woman's compassion for her husband and his long day at work on a ship and that she likes to hear all about his long day at work on the ship.
I don't know.
You decide.
For the record, when I first read this, I thought the title was, "Shoplifter's Wife." Poem works better when he works on a ship, instead of stealing things.
I do so like a good Dorianne Laux poem.

Poem: "The Shipfitter's Wife" by Dorianne Laux, from Smoke. © BOA Editions. Reprinted with permission.

The Shipfitter's Wife

I loved him most
when he came home from work,
his fingers still curled from fitting pipe,
his denim shirt ringed with sweat
and smelling of salt, the drying weeds
of the ocean. I'd go to where he sat
on the edge of the bed, his forehead
anointed with grease, his cracked hands
jammed between his thighs, and unlace
the steel-toed boots, stroke his ankles
and calves, the pads and bones of his feet.
Then I'd open his clothes and take
the whole day inside me — the ship's
gray sides, the miles of copper pipe,
the voice of the foreman clanging
off the hull's silver ribs. Spark of lead
kissing metal. The clamp, the winch,
the white fire of the torch, the whistle,
and the long drive home.

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