Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"a little boyish, a little ghostly"

Here's another poem from Ann Townsend's excellent chapbook, The Braille Woods:

At first, only the soaking sound of the shower.
Dense, dizzy, he rinses the soap from his body,

without care, without love, and steps dripping
onto the tile. His face is still eclipsed in sleep;

his hand reaches for the fallen towel,
muscles curving in from the elbow,

pulling up again to perform the simplest motion,
smoothing towel against skin. Threshed by air,

the cedars rustle and sweep in the back yard,
their branches bobbing, needles cloudy

in the scattered morning light. He shivers,
folding back the shutters, and waits there,

his body no more than a momentary colorless echo,
a little boyish, a little ghostly,

while the morning comes on. In the next room,
his underwear and socks lie neatly folded

on the bed, and a row of shirts waits from him
to push past their various fabrics

and pull out his choice, as if his body were a frame
on which to drape landscapes, patterns and plaids,

an architecture of clean skin, wakening muscle,
nerves willingly alive to the watching world.
[photo: autumn laurel, 9/1/07]

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