The way a woman cleans house, tying her hair
in a kerchief, knocking down cobwebs
with a broom. All day gathering clothes
and toys and books from beneath the beds,
vacuuming under the couch cushions,
scrubbing the drains, polishing
the fixtures. I could love you that way,
methodically, thoroughly, offering my body
at day’s end as if it were a house,
as if it were only a place for you to lie down.
This poem has never been published, but every time I’ve read it to an audience at least one person has asked for a copy of it.