Man and Wife


It was late, we
talked it all
came out words
fell we stuffed them
in each other's ears

I talked, she listened
and agreed. Not
enough. Don't shout
she yelled, Don't–I'm
not–. Quietly: In other
words, I said–There are
no other words
she said. Think. I
(thought) can't think.
Words she could not say
I said, then she
spoke for me.

Be a woman, I said.
What is a woman,
she asked, nakedly,
taking off her clothes. That
ended it. The next night
we began again, as if
there were someone
who knew
the answer.


Mitchell Goodman, Light From Under a Bushel, 1968.