And the Ship Sails On by Joel Brouwer
He faced the sink, one foot up
on the edge of the tub. She stood
behind him, reaching around.
In the mirror, her face rose
over his shoulder like the moon,
and like the moon she regarded him
beautifully but without feeling,
and he looked at her as he would
at the moon: How beautiful!
How distant! No smiling, no giggling,
no talking. A man and a woman
transacting their beautiful business
with the usual equanimity. The man
as a passenger walking the ship's deck
at evening and the woman as the moon
over his shoulder oiling the ocean
with light. Deep in the ship's belly
pistons churned and sailors fed
the boilers' roar with coal. On deck
just the engine's dull thrum and
a faint click as the woman sets her ring
on the cold white lip of the sink •
Joel Brouwer is the author of two books of poems, Exactly What Happened and Centuries. He teaches at the University of Alabama.