A Precise Woman
A precise woman with a short haircut brings order
to my thoughts and my dresser drawers,
moves feelings around like furniture
into a new arrangement.
A woman whose body is cinched at the waist and firmly divided
into upper and lower,
with weather-forecast eyes
of shatterproof glass.
Even her cries of passion follow a certain order,
one after the other:
tame dove, then wild dove,
then peacock, wounded peacock, peacock, peacock,
the wild dove, tame dove, dove dove
thrush, thrush, thrush.
A precise woman: on the bedroom carpet
her shoes always point away from the bed.
(My own shoes point toward it.)
by Yehuda Amichai
From The Selected Poems of Yehuda Amichai
University of California Press, 1996
translators: Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell