Are generally over or around
Erogenous zones, they seem to dive
In the direction of those
Dark places, and indeed
It is their nature to be dark
Themselves, keeping a kind
Of thieves' kitchen for the things
Sequestered from the world
For long or little while,
The keys, the handkerchiefs,
The sad and vagrant little coins
That are really only passing through.
For all they locate close to lust,
No pocket ever sees another;
There is in fact a certain sadness
To pockets, going in their lonesome ways
And snuffling up their sifting storms
Of dust, tobacco bits and lint.
A pocket with a hole in it
Drops out; from shame, is that, or pride?
What is a pocket but a hole?
From The Western Approaches by Howard Nemerov, published by the University of Chicago Press. Copyright © 1975 by Howard Nemerov. Reprinted with the permission of Margaret Nemerov. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

A Primer of the Daily Round by Howard Nemerov
A peels an apple, while B kneels to God
Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry by Howard Nemerov
Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
Found Poem by Howard Nemerov
The population center of the USA
Long Distance by Howard Nemerov

Further Reading

A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes [excerpt]
by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
At the Playground, Singing for Psychiatric Outpatients
by Peter Everwine
At the Public Market Museum: Charleston, South Carolina
by Jane Kenyon
Blankets of Bark
by Sherwin Bitsui
by Mark Doty
by Hart Crane
Go Greyhound
by Bob Hicok
by Philip Levine
Inventing Father In Las Vegas
by Lynn Emanuel
Regarding Chainsaws
by Hayden Carruth
The Waltz We Were Born For
by Walt McDonald
Two Countries
by Naomi Shihab Nye