What is the man searching for inside her blouse?
He has been with her body for seven years
and still is surprised by the arches of her
slender feet. He still traces her spine
with careful attention, feeling for the bones
of her pelvic girdle when he arrives there.
Her flesh is bright in sunlight and then not
as he leans forward and back. Picasso in his later
prints shows himself as a grotesque painter
watching closely a young Spanish woman on the bed
with her legs open and the old duenna in black
to the side. He had known nakedness every day
for sixty years. What could be in it still to find?
But he was happy even then to get
close to the distant, distant intermittency.
Like a piano playing faintly on a second floor
in a back room. The music seems familiar, but is not.

Jack Gilbert, “The Container for the Thing Contained”, in The Great Fires: Poems 1982–1992