Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Diane Wakoski / The Mechanic

The Mechanic

by Diane Wakoski

Most men use
their eyes
like metronomes
clicking off the beats
of a woman’s walk;
how her lips press
against the cloth, as figs before
they split their purple skins
on the tree,
measuring how much of her walk
goes into bed at night,
the jar of the sky
being filled with the Milky Way
glittering for every time
she moves her lips

but of course
the secrets
are not the obvious beats
in the song
that even a bad drummer can play

hearing the speed of the motor
- it too made up of beats -
so fast,
subtle, I suppose,
they register
as continuous sound
or the heart which of course
beats without any fan belt to keep it
it is a test,
a rhythm,
they could not see
with those measuring eyes
though perhaps there are some
whose fingers and ears
are so close to the motors
with clean oil passing through their ears
and draining properly into the brain pan,
perhaps a few…

who can tell
what the secret bleeding of a woman
is all about

As a woman
with oily stars sticking
on all the tip points
of my skin
I could never
trust a man
who wasn’t a mechanic,
a man who uses his
his hands,
listens to

Diane Wakoski
Selected Poems, 1962-1987

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