Eugene Gloria Click to

head shot_gloriaEugene Gloria received the 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for poetry for his collection My Favorite Warlord (Penguin, 2000), which was a National Poetry Series selection.  His recent works have appeared or are forthcoming in Memorious, TriQuarterly and the Best American Poetry 2014.  He is currently professor of English at Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Unlike the grotesque bonnet
worn at church, the apron
is more a second cousin
to the humble scarf in winter.
The apron would never say
“So what” to you. She’s agreeable
as a kitchen mantle with ripening fruit.
A sponge when it comes to stink:
splatter of fish scales and fish guts,
the errant strafe of grease
from angry skillets, the teary onion’s
grief and stutter. In middle life,
the apron aspires to stand before
sinners and saints and carve
verses on stone: mon coeur mis à nu,
she’ll tattoo on your chest.
She’s your last line of defense
against burnt anchovies,
the wide net draping
over the frightful forest,
the canvas cradling the boxer’s face,
a makeshift dressing
on a playground wound.
The apron is the fulsome embrace
for a brother shoving off—
the one with empty pockets
coming home to the damp, dark
folds of her familiar stink.


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