And the Ship Sails On

By Joel Brouwer b. 1968 Joel Brouwer
He faced the sink, one foot up
on the edge of the tub. She stood
behind him, reaching around.
In the mirror, her face rose
over his shoulder like the moon,
and like the moon she regarded him
beautifully but without feeling,
and he looked at her as he would
at the moon: How beautiful!
How distant! No smiling, no weeping,
no talking. A man and a woman
transacting their magnificent business
with the usual equanimity. The man
as a passenger walking the ship’s deck
at evening and the woman as the moon
over his shoulder oiling the ocean
with light. Deep in the ship’s belly
pistons churned and sailors fed
the boilers' roar with coal. On deck
just the engine’s dull thrum and
a faint click as the woman sets her ring
on the cool white lip of the sink.

Joel Brouwer, "And the Ship Sails On" from And So. Copyright © 2009 by Joel Brouwer.  Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books.

Source: And So (Four Way Books, 2009)

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Poet Joel Brouwer b. 1968

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Home Life, Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

 Joel  Brouwer

Biography

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, poet Joel Brouwer is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Syracuse University. Brouwer is the author of several collections of poetry, including And So (2009); Centuries (2003), a National Book Critics Circle Notable Book; and Exactly What Happened (1999), winner of the Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has also published several chapbooks. Brouwer has been . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Home Life, Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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