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Two Poems


Parenthetical

The friend who introduced us still can't get over
Your great torrent of black hair
And wide regarding eyes, that dance-class air
Masking your reserve. For another

It's our pasture garden and the Angelus
Of light around you, backlit
At the end of an August day. "The pick of the litter,"
I called you once, teasing but serious.

Your slip shimmered on the bathroom door
Softly as the northern lights,
That first summer I followed your footprints—
Shining parentheses—across the floor.


Drawing Her Bath

Winter twilight: the sky a seam of mother-of-pearl
Reefed along the horizon,
Snow in the traceries of the trees.
Behind me the house fills with the quiet light
You loved to bathe in at the end of day.
I imagine you, passing before your mirror
Grown cloudy now with steam,
Then entering those scented waters, compassed
By comforting things—stacked towels and bath salts,
The honeycombed sponge

The clear night mirrored in your eyes.
This is where memory keeps trying to fix the scene:
Not the bare limbs tatted by snowfall,
But the flush of your flesh through the steam.


Robert Gibb

The Empty Loom
The University of Arkansas Press


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