Oct/Nov 2003 Poetry

Towels sour

by Jenna Rindo

Photo-Art by Tara Gilbert-Brever


Towels sour

in the rich air of summer,
so she sniffs
each dish rag, face rag,
beggerman, thief.

She swipes at sticky cheeks
and sharp chins sugar-stiff
from popsicle drips and sandbox grit

as cast-off clothes
reek in the hamper
and mildew speckles take hold
like blood or ink.

She lies wide awake
counting clock chimes—
each a regret, a spot
that blisters in her head,

and leaves the midnight bed
to clean piss from the pot's edge,
hair from the tub's drain.

She stoops close to the kitchen floor,
scrubbing up milk spills while webs
and corner silt are waiting
to be pressed

into paper towel,
into a prayer,
into a litany for love.


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