Jun 23, 2009

The Painter’s Wife

Written by Tania Pryputniewicz

Read by Jehanne Dubrow

Rain brings the husband home early,
white dots specking his neck and skull,

a primered knuckle through the milk jug
without apology for the swig

or cold hand on her breast. Downed lines
mean dark when he’d rather have sun

to finish the job, or if here, like now, inside her,
light to watch himself by (and her), overalls

at his ankles, spattered with the colors
of the housewives of the neighborhoods.

Naked he’s hers again, until the throb of power
restored, the refrigerator

kicking in, and under the stairs
where his ribs anchor hers to the floor,

a bare bulb burning into her eyes.
Outside — the deck slick, boots

warped with chill, amphibious —
there’s his forehead to kiss

and the letdown of thunder, the crotch
of her jeans gritting along her skin’s

seam. At her feet, to the spit
of soaked gravel (his retreating tires)

a handful of furred sow’s ears listen
for spring without head or brain.