Purple Bathing Suit
by Louise Glück
I like watching you garden
with your back to me in your purple bathing suit:
your back is my favorite part of you,
the part furthest away from your mouth.
You might give some thought to that mouth.
Also to the way you weed, breaking
the grass off at ground level
when you should pull it by the roots.
How many times do I have to tell you
how the grass spreads, your little
pile notwithstanding, in a dark mass which
by smoothing over the surface you have finally
fully obscured. Watching you
stare into space in the tidy
rows of the vegetable garden, ostensibly
working hard while actually
doing the worst job possible, I think
you are a small irritating purple thing
and I would like to see you walk off the face of the earth
because you are all that’s wrong with my life
and I need you and I claim you.
"Purple Bathing Suit," from MEADOWLANDS by Louise Glück Copyright © 1997 by Louise Glück. Used by permission of Ecco Press.