“For years, I thought I hated children’s laughter.
I had no idea I was just hungry.”
—Healthy Choice ad
No children of my own, I thought
they all laughed that way—
teasing, cruel. Some poor scapegoat
forced to ingest god knows what.
Cleaning the dormitories, scrubbing
the blood from the shower walls,
my stomach contracts like a fist
around a blank coin.
Tomorrow, the soles of the state
inspector’s shoes will squeak
against spit-shiny floors.
He’ll hear nothing else. But today
I move backwards down the corridor
with the mop steering from side to side,
its wet locks dragging
an endless river of filth.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Dog Logic
- The Colors of Noise
- Crossing Wales
- Memo from the CEO of Little Prince, Inc.
- Poems to be shaved into the hair of the author’s back
- Living in Analog
- Organ Meats: A Primer
- Walking Weather
- Beach Glass
- Tree Without Birds
- The Captain’s Reverses
- The Fullness of Time
- Reading the Icelandic Sagas
- Hit the Lights
- Vagina Dialogue
- Old Norse Family Values
- On Hold
- Looking for the Reader
- The conversation continues: two videopoems