Issue 5
Two Works

Two Works

The Laundromat 

 

i know she’s one of those people who wander 

into the laundromat 

because they have no place else to go 

she slides 

a dollar bill into the change machine 

cuddles quarters and looks 

like she’s there to do wash 

 

she gets a cart and sneaks 

an empty box from the trash, 

a box that once held laundry flakes, 

so people would think 

her laundry was in the wash 

 

she sits there in a baby blue hoodie 

that tents to a point like a witch 

but i know she can’t be a witch 

not with eyes that look like she’s been through hell 

 

she has a cell phone 

the faster her fingers text  

the more her brows knit  

 

she puts away the phone and closes her eyes 

i can tell she’s thinking hard 

thoughts that intensify and disinfect at top speed 

but she’s not coming up with anything 

 

she gets up, leaves the cart, and drifts out 

and i’m pretty sure she’s 

thinking like i am 

and wants to throw the whole damn world 

out the window 

along with the music he left behind 

 

 

Rain 

 

 When I was 12 I told a boy I loved him. He stared and didn’t say a thing. I didn’t know what that meant. Was it good or bad? Did I surprise him? And if I did, was it a good surprise?  Or would he run home and tell his mother? Or, worse, would he tell his friends and they would laugh about it. 

        I didn’t know who I was when I was 12. Was I good looking or bad looking or did I look just like everybody else? Why would someone pick me out of the crowd to love?  What did love even mean? I felt it—at least I thought I did—but I didn’t know what it was all about. 

        We, me and that boy, grew up together and in time we fell in love until one rainy day when we were all grown up he told me he didn’t love me anymore.  I asked him why but he didn’t have an answer.  He said something about “time”—like “it’s time” or “I need time” or something like that.  But I wasn’t listening too hard. The sound I heard was my heart beating really fast.  I too needed time. 

        I blamed it on the rain.  I was sure in my heart that no one ever does anything mean on a sunny day. 

        That night my brother died in a car accident. He was drinking because his girlfriend broke up with him. I knew he was drinking but I didn’t know why 

until much later. I blamed his skidding on the rain 

        My boyfriend ended up coming back after he heard about my brother 

        But my brother never came back. 

        By then it didn’t matter. I had learned a lot about the rain