In The Alley Behind the Bank Exists Pinky's Laundromat , it Smells Like Chow Mien & Fabric Softener
In those prosaic days when youth befalled us
with its squeaky hinges & pealing paint
in the home we shared with other young couples
whose screeching disagreements & foul smelling smoke
existed beneath the thin veneer of the floor beneath us.
I loved you most in Pinky's Laundromat behind the bank.
where you sat facing me, admiring
pictures of polished cars & their glistening capable parts.
Where i read Whitman & wrote about Auden
& imagined Ted Hughes & i wished he was you.
Where your frayed wool sweater you wore on thanksgiving
& my thin cotton tee shirt i wore on the first day it snowed,
embraced each other in the rinse cycle.
These things that loosely covered us when we took cruel jabs at each other,
keeping our home hostage in the temperature of our Stalemate.
In those fabrics we sweat & sobbed & kept secrets,
we stripped, swept sweetly over one another
& slept to the steady beating of breath.
I loved you most at Pinky's Laundromat,
Poor & Eager & Beautiful,
You pushed shiny quarters into the industrial dryer
Beneath the slow spinning ceiling fan
Kissed my forehead, admired engines
I thought about Ted Hughes & I knew i wouldn't want him
if i could have you.