Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[Lent: day 23/40]

Jesus at the Laundromat
-Kim Addonizio

The last crystals from the box of All
spill into the Speed Queen.
Tube socks, cotton drawers
with an asterisk design in blue,
a few frayed robes, graying now,
a sweatshirt saying GOD IS LOVE.
Jesus loads his quarters
and eases into a plastic chair
by the Change machine.
Each year it's harder to remember
why he returned.
Sometimes he knows
it was only nostalgia, and not
a second chance for anyone.  Now
he longs for home.  In heaven
things stayed white.
No one had to suffer flourescent lights
or rattling dryers,
the sour pool of urine by the pay phone.
Jesus watches his clothes revolve,
suds hitting the surface
of the curved glass.  He sighs
and looks around,
surprised he's not alone.
The chairs are filled
with old bodies, some snoring,
some sitting so still
he's tempted to touch them.
A woman curls under newspaper
near the sign that reads OPEN.
The attendant drags a map
the length of the linoleum,
streaking the dirt.
LOAD CLOTHES EVENLY.
DO NOT DYE IN THESE MACHINES.
24 HOURS A DAY.
WASH 'N SAVE.

from Sweet Jesus: Poems About the Ultimate Icon (ed. Nick Carbó and Denise Duhamel) p. 165-6.
Tags: lent: 2006: daily poetry, poetry: lent: 2006, poetry: sweet jesus
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