White Sales

Allen Grossman

White sales
The Bus stops uptown
next to the John Deere.
The step from the paving
into the bus is high.
How did Irene get on the bus?
This is a trouble.
"I am not a tall girl."
She thought she would take the
train on the way back:
"But I, even as the dogs,
feel a yearning
for the infinite. . . .I cannot,
I cannot satisfy that hunger!
I am the daughter of a man and a woman.
I had thought to be more than this.
If it had been left to me. I would much
rather have been the daughter of
a shark."
On the bus Irene talked to a fat
blind woman. They talked about
January White Sales. The blind
woman was going to the Cities
to buy sheets. She said
"Percale," "Lotus Bloom,"
"Egyptian Cotton."
Then the fat, blind, honey-
blond Fate kissed Irene.
From the mouth of the
Fate a stone passed
into the mouth of the girl
who then said, "I have begun.
I go up from where I was thrown
to where I shall betake myself.
There Solomon in all his glory
shall receive his queen."
From How to Do Things with Tears by Allen Grossman. Copyright © 2000 by Allen Grossman; reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Coffee and Oranges
by Joel Brouwer
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O'Connell
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Submarine Mountains
by Cale Young Rice
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Bluefish
by Isaac McLellan
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sharks
by Denise Levertov
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman