Refreshing San Antonio

Poetry and Art


Sheila Black



They might be in a kitchen talking-the crumb of
oil on the table she flicks away with the yellow sponge. 
The night when the night presses in like hands, 
like the stories of want, the stories of the grand-
fathers who lost their way. A man hung by the neck
under a bright yellow bulb. What you don't speak of-
Tumors grow thusly like mushrooms, and the days
so filled with pieces, like the receipts at the bottom of
her purse. They might be in a kitchen talking-the
grease on the saucepan, the sink clanking with forks,
shifting through the water like dreamers in the heaviest
of stainless steel dreams, eels gill-breathing through 
the pipes, translucent, so you can see even their strange
blue hearts. "What surrounds us?" she wonders as she
plungers her hands into the water, washes a cup, feeling
the swoop of its hollow, and his voice which is saying
nothing much. Some little ditty about how often
he is tired and, on the porch, now that there is no day-
light savings, when he sees the light he wonders
a moment if he is like the moth, held by a thread he 
cannot see, which pulls him in as it pulls her, and
she takes her hands out of the water and he takes her
wet hands, just as they are, chill, a little soapy, 
uncertain where to put themselves.

* "The idea of eels in the sink came from a poem "The Sink Eels" by Lia Brooks in her forthcoming collection The North of May."