The Women Who Clean Fish - Poem by Erica Funkhouser
The women who clean fish are all named Rose
or Grace.They wake up close to the water,
damp and dreamy beneath white sheets,
thinking of white beaches.
It is always humid where they work.
Under plastic aprons, their breasts
foam and bubble.They wear old clothes
because the smell will never go.
On the floor, chlorine.
On the window, dry streams left by gulls.
When tourists come to watch them
working over belts of cod and hake,
they don't look up.
They stand above the gutter.When the belt starts
they pack the bodies in, ten per box,
their tales crisscrossed as if in sacrament.
The dead fish fall compliantly.
It is the iridescent scales that stick,
clinging to cheek and wrist,
lighting up hours later in a dark room.
The packers say they feel orange spawn
between their fingers, the smell of themselves
more like salt than peach.
Comments about The Women Who Clean Fish by Erica Funkhouser
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Erica Funkhouser's Other Poems
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye