02 October 2005

Two Women

The woman without
graces has a husband.
She has Volvo, sons
of three heights,
a club foot, glasses.
In fact she has several
pairs of glasses she's
purchased at Sears
of the half-moon variety.
Time, the woman knows,
is her worst enemy.
Dinners bisect Mendelsohn
and Metternich.
The sweater unravels
further each washing.
The hair refuses
to be smoothed.
The daughter holds
damp arms around her neck,
damp cheek to damp cheek,
at the shallow end of the pool.

The woman with graces
is thin stuff, thin stuff.
Thin are the arms emerging
from the cashmere shell.
Thin are the legs beneath
the linen sheath,
hard and knotty as pine.
Thin is the kid wrapping
each teetering anklet.
Thin are the letters from lovers.
Time, the woman knows,
is her worst enemy:
the buzzing cocktail phone
and the showered skull
emerging from its tiled chamber.
A whiff of ambrosial
compact and cleanser
between her and herself:
reams and reams of thin stuff,
an invisible knitting.

~ Elizabeth Skurnick

No comments: