Poem from:

Sculling On The Lethe by Paul Genega

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Ruth’s White Glove

Genega, Paul

for Toni Morrison

The man with heavy 
hands fumbles with
pearl buttons, a long
row of small buttons
shining like moons 
in a universe of mites. 
Down the satin white
he works, awkwardly
painstakingly, as if
he were a wave grasping
single grains of sand.
One by one he undoes
them, him all thumbs
and praying it be proper
this slow solemn rushing
solemn so slow rushing
when the last at last
releases from its loop
the glove sloughs off
and he strokes her
naked flesh, believing 
the whole while it is he 
who has been touched. 

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