because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

lust, observed










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 mamรก 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 responses

  1. ihatepoetry

    Me gusta mucho esta poema. This is what I was trying to do (and failed) with my poem. Thanks, mamacita querida.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

    • muchissimas gracias, mosk. ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm

  2. 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!

    July 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

    • thanks, Denise, for dropping by here and for coming out to hear the readings Fri. eve. Always great to see you!

      July 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

  3. Evocative verse… I’m not an experienced critic of poetry but this really got through, even to me. I’d like to thank Denise for bringing it to my attention.

    July 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    • 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!)

      July 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  4. i feel like it just heard this….oh wait i did…smiles…as good as it is on paper, setting the scene and the mood…it was all the more in person…smiles.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    • ihatepoetry

      Envious. ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      • aren’t you out somewhere on the west coast, mosk? can’t we fly you in for a reading some time? let me just check our budget… ๐Ÿ˜‰

        July 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

        • ihatepoetry

          You got the airfare, I’m there ๐Ÿ˜‰ thanks!

          July 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    • aww, gracias, Brian. glad you could make it in to hear, and to share your own words. smiles.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm

  5. I feel like I was there…good capture Joanna.

    July 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    • thanks, ayala ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

  6. sweat & loneliness from her thin bed-
    room sheets.

    I could smell the bleach, but never felt clean. The last lines were my favorite! Loved it!!

    July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    • Thanks for the visit, Shawn. ๐Ÿ™‚ glad you enjoyed!

      July 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm

  7. 3 in the afternoon? Back in the day, needed the 24 hour one and even then hadda be there at 3 AM not PM

    July 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    • not that the doors were opened then, just that theywere open, doing less than nothing to help the ventilation ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by, Carl.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  8. 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!


    July 20, 2012 at 4:25 am


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