A Prose Poem from The Inhabitant.
In the kitchen the dishwasher is eating the dishes. The Inhabitant listens to the current of digestion — porcelain being ground, silver wearing thin, the hum and bite of the machine.
His wife does not hear it — she is humming, not listening. But the Inhabitant is aware of movement in the cupboards, of the veriest motion — the cast-iron skillet undergoing metamorphosis, perhaps, becoming its name: the wives' spider spinning beneath the counter, weaving and managing, waiting for the doors to open.
Each cup has its voice, each saucer its ear, and the thin chant planes between the shelves, touching the timbres of glass and crystal as it passes. The gentleman listens, is touched to the bone by this plainsong — he feels his response in the marrow's keening.
But the women do not — neither the elder nor the child — sense the music their things make. Their lips move, a column of air rises like steam, and there is something in a minor key sliding along the wall, touching the face of a plastic clock, disturbing the linen calendar beside the condiments.
It is as though, the Inhabitant reflects, the women are spinning. It is as though, while he waits, they weave bindings among the rooms; as though the strands of tune were elements of a sisterhood of dishes, the ladies, the spider in the cabinet, even of the dishwasher, done now with its grinding, which contributes a new add sound — a continuo of satiety — to the gray motet the kitchen is singing.
From Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2007. ISBN 978-1-932842-19-7, cloth; ISBN 978-1-932842-20-3, paper. Also available in a Kindle edition.