Bill Knott

Fear of Domesticity

(after reading Plath and Sexton)

Eyelashes did their job:

they lengthened the afternoon,

like a dress-hem.

Then that night the hem began to rise, in stages


scenes from my shameful life.

— Those calves

up which the hem reproachfully rasped,


lingering over whatever scene

(the higher the younger) arose

on those calves

knees, thighs, those


or were they mine —

I hid my eyes.

I wouldn’t attend to

the walls either

endless walls, slowly


with suicide.

The eyelashes did their job.

But I, who could neither sew

nor cook groped and groped those long legs

stubborn, afraid to look.