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