The Knife-Sharpener’s Daughter

A drain spout splashing
rusty stains on concrete,
the taste of doorknobs
you kiss before squinting
through the musty keyhole
at the knife-sharpener’s daughter,
while across the city
the knife-sharpener
limps his pushcart
with its dinging axles,
with its screeching whetstone
up wet alleys
crying: scissors! knives! axes!

Stuart Dybek, “The Knife Sharpener’s Daughter” from Brass Knuckles, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright © 1979 by Stuart Dybek. Reprinted by permission of Stuart Dybek.
Source: Brass Knuckles (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979)
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