Academic journal article Antipodes

Written in a Woman's Hand

Academic journal article Antipodes

Written in a Woman's Hand

Article excerpt

for T. Andrew Carter

Yellowed and chipped the teeth of Gomez,

slumped drowsy on a chair in a Veracruz cantina,

waiting

for his ship to leave port,

to descend again in coveralls

engine room steps,

ready with clipboard, rag, wrench and pliers

to check, adjust, repair or replace

each pipe, pump and filter

in an enclosed world

he understands.

Brown the eyes of Isabella

who climbed the hotel stairs with him.

Her body, a well, a breeze,

taking the dust from his tongue.

Other Isabellas

in Miami, Houston and New Orleans.

Earrings and stories

a violent boyfriend, a backstreet abortion,

plans to go to night school.

Gomez listened -

their talk, full of undercurrents and debris.

What creatures scuttled and preyed

in that pressing darkness.

Fog. Typhoon. …

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