lust, observed

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in my hometown
the laundromat

doors are open at 3 in the afternoon
to catch whispers

of a triple-digit Ju-ly breeze.
the machines whir,

and there is country coming
through the overhead.

small talk is all in Spanish: que
calorcito, eh? black-

laced sweet nothings
of a frazzled mamá drip

from the handrail of one of those
little carts. the floor

is dirty, and the air
smells of bleach.

the coke machine doesn’t work,
but the dryers

are wonderfully efficient and she
feels more like mamacita

than she has in months, con-
siders bringing one

of those country songs
to life, stripping

down to her calzoncitos while
watching machines spin

sweat & loneliness from her thin bed-
room sheets.

18 thoughts on “lust, observed

  1. I love the imagery in this poem, the “black laced sweet nothings,” the final line about “sweat and loneliness.” There is an inherent sadness in a laudromat, a resignation to the mundane. I enjoyed hearing you read this the other night at River City Secrets!

    • Wow, thank you, Pat; it is always reassuring to know a piece found some resonance with its audience. You are welcome to drop by here anytime! (Oh, and thanks again to Denise for the shout-out that brought this to your attention!)

  2. A laundromat is really a meeting place. A lot of talk, a lot of gossips. A media for exchange of ideas which may be healthy depending on the crowd. Great observation, joanna!

    Hank

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