A Moving Example of Vulnerability

It takes great courage to express it. Most women are better at it than men.

Here’s a poem written by an exceptional man that we’d be more likely to expect from a woman.

The Voyeur

By Dana Gioia in 99 Poems

Watching her undress across the room,

oblivious of him, watching as her slip

falls soundlessly and disappears in shadow,

and the dim lamplight makes her curving frame

seem momentarily both luminous

and insubstantial – like the shadow of a cloud

drifting across a hillside far away.

Watching her turn away, this slender ghost,

this silhouette of mystery, his wife,

walk naked to her bath, the room around her

so long familiar that it is, like him,

invisible to her, he sees himself

suspended in the branches by the window,

entering this strange bedroom with his eyes.

Seen from the darkness, even the walls glow – 

A golden woman lights the amber air.

He looks and aches not only for her touch

But for the secret that her presence brings.

She is the moonlight, sovereign and detached.

He is a shadow flattened on the pavement,

the one whom locks and windows keep away.

But what he watches here is his own life.

He is the missing man, the loyal husband,

Sitting in the room he craves to enter,

Surrounded by the flesh and furniture of home.

He notices a cast curled on the bed.

He hears a woman singing in the shower.

The branches shake their dry leaves like alarm.

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