I Come Home Wanting to Touch Everyone by Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn 1939-2021

I Come Home Wanting to Touch Everyone

The dogs greet me, I descend
into their world of fur and tongues
and then my wife and I embrace
as if we’d just closed the door
in a motel, our two girls slip in
between us and we’re all saying
each other’s names and the dogs
Buster and Sundown are on their hind legs,
people-style, seeking more love.
I’ve come home wanting to touch
everyone, everything; usually I turn
the key and they’re all lost
in food or homework, even the dogs
are preoccupied with themselves,
I desire only to ease
back in, the mail, a drink,
but tonight the body-hungers have sent out
their long-range signals
or love itself has risen
from its squalor of neglect.
Everytime the kids turn their backs
I touch my wife’s breasts
and when she checks the dinner
the unfriendly cat on the dishwasher
wants to rub heads, starts to speak
with his little motor and violin–
everything, everyone is intelligible
in the language of touch,
and we sit down to dinner inarticulate
as blood, all difficulties postponed
because the weather is so good.

Stephen Dunn
Born: 24 June 1939, New York, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 24 June 2021, Maryland, USA

Dunn was a poet and educator. He authored twenty-one collections of poetry and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2001 for his collection “Different Hours.”

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