THE VOYEURS GRATITUDE
The Voyeurs Litany
This dark afternoon in July, this all-day rain,
means you are home and your lights are on
and I can put down my book and pen
and stand for awhile in my study, in the dark,
and watch you while you work.
You have your work gloves on, your drill,
youre hanging something on your wall,
shelves, or a mirror. You hold three nails
in your pursed lips, stand tiptoe in old jogging shoes
and a paint-flecked tank top, straining. Thank you
for your open curtains, that little mercy,
and for hiring men to trim your trees,
to restore clear air to those places that filled with green
so I can live in them again. Stand with me here a minute,
listen to the rain. We could both go out in it,
we could meet, and talk, try to impress
each other. But we could never be as generous
as your window light. There would be bitterness,
eventually, a closing up. And then ruin, then regret.
Ill go on watching you work, loving the ache of it.
Jeffrey Bean is an Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. His first full length collection, Diminished Fifth, was published by David Robert Books in 2009, and his chapbook, Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, won the 2013 Cowles/Copperdome Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published last year by Southeast Missouri State University Press. His poems have been featured on The Writers Almanac, in the New Poetry from the Midwest anthology, and in Garrison Keillors anthology, Good Poems, American Places. Poems from the Voyeur sequence have appeared or are forthcoming in the journals The Antioch Review, Willow Springs, The Greensboro Review, River Styx, Poet Lore, and The Raintown Review; other poems appear in FIELD, The Missouri Review, Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Subtropics, RHINO, and Southern Poetry Review, among others.
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last updated 24 August 2015