Constance Stadler

washing machine

i fill the still concavity till
see the water frothing
i pour viscous blue
and there i hear it:

"let me in."

if only i could climb deep low
curling around
the rhythmic agitation of purification
and bleach these wounds white.

in the tossing turbulence my soul
scabs would be loostened
drifting to bubbling scum
and every hole would be scoured
infection gone, abcesses punctured.


oh, the holes would still be there
in pock-marked display
of all my amputated life.

but i would be disinfected
billowing sweet in heat of noon
twisting joyously in the lilting gusts.

i would, of course, be ugly and ravaged to the
sensitive eye, and so i would avoid
such decimating probes.

but just the thought of a
moment of lilting freshness,
an easement of self-damnation.

would make it all worthwhile.

Constance Stadler © 2009