Saturday, January 3, 2015

Joan Colby- Three Poems


The Hoover roars over the Turkish carpet
Sucking dog hair and cracker crumbs
Into its transparent gut. We can see
How much debris we create in living
Week after week. Flecks of our skin
And dust, the ubiquitous disclaimer,
How everything comes to this. Seen in totality:
An accumulation of fluff
Accessorized with grit. That’s what
We’re made of. 

Froth like pastry.
Assembly of cherubs. The filled sink
Where the gilt-rimmed china
And silver in its Grand Baroque guise
Could drink clarity, could endure being scrubbed
Of the evidence of their living.
Crusts and smears. The grave image
Of sauce or juice. Arms elbow deep
In that wallow erasing
What had to be. What was. Such
Giving and getting. Taste and its ordure.
She washed. He dried.
Their marriage.


Sprinkle with ammonia, then starch.
The heavy triangle like a snake’s head
Flattens the breast, veers into the collar
So its points are exact equations,
Each sleeve turned
Like a conspirator. Cuffed with rigidity
To imprison the flexing wrist.
Then hung, ready for tomorrow.
Those days were solemn, wrinkle-free
As a wash and wear future she didn’t dream of.

The old iron
Sits upright as a widow
In the curl of its cord. The orifices
That hissed steam clogged
With disuse. She remembers
Pressing, pressing
How good that was.


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