the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But you and I are
savages. You come in with a bag,
hold it out to me in silence.
I know Moo Shu Pork when I smell it
and understand the message: I have
pleased you greatly last night. We sit
quietly, side by side, to eat,
the long pancakes dangling and spilling,
fragrant sauce dripping out,
and glance at each other askance, wordless,
the corners of our eyes clear as spear points
laid along the sill to show
a friend sits with a friend here.
Olds seems to be sharing a moment with someone. They don't live like other people. She makes it seem like what they are is wrong. They have spent the night together and Olds seems to be reflecting on it. I would say that based off this that Olds and her friend here are not married to each other. She speaks of marriage as the norm and that they must not be normal since they are not married. It would almost be like they are wild trying to live in a civilized world. Based off the title, since primitive means early in the history of mankind, they are primitive living in a world that has evolved. They keep everything a secret between themselves. The two are friends that morning, but clearly last night was a different thing for them. It would almost seem like they have had one night stand or something with each other, something clearly not embraced by society. This poem is shorter compared to a lot of other poems that Olds have written. It also seems to be more positive than others too. While these two may have done something that isn't embraced where they live, it clearly was a good time for both of them. I really enjoy the fact that while Olds poems do have hidden meanings, they are easier to understand than other poems. Most of her poems are based off her own life. It seems that if you were to take all her poems and put them in a book, it would be like an autobiography in poetry form.