“Swish. Swish. Swish.”
Mornings. In Verse.
I prefer to do mine early…
When the gray city is still slumbering
And I walk the three or so blocks –
With the sack balanced on my shoulder
Listing left then right,
trying not to grimace.
Like an imposter mall Santa
who can’t manage the load.
I have my roll of quarters.
I have my book.
I have my “Xtra Quik Cleaners” playlist
I fill a washer – checking pockets:
Found my watch!
Found a guest past from a Midtown office building.
I drizzle a thin layer of blue Tide
like butter syrup at the movies
onto underwear and t-shirts
Swish. Swish. Swish.
I think. I jot. I listen.
Even though it’s morning, I buy candy.
Time to swap.
Selecting the best dryer is a science –
Is the inside clean and free of foreign burn marks?
Might you, if left devoid of options, eat off the lint guard?
Two dryer sheets. One less thing to worry about.
Whurr. Whurr. Whurr.
I think. I jot. I listen. I pace.
The metal rivets on my pants make a sharp click as they hit the base of the machine’s stomach.
What is Permanent Press, anyway? I wonder. And make a note to research the settings. I make a grocery list. I hum that new song from the Swedish DJ.
And before long, my clothes are hot and dry.
One time, in a fit of hurry, I sent my things here unsupervised.
And they came back very small.
Someone else’s underwear was mixed in with my own.
I was angry. I felt cold.
But today. With the warm sack full of clean clothes on my shoulder
The sun peaking over yellow buildings,
And an entire Sunday ahead of me,
I feel like I could do most anything.
(Even though I’ll likely just go back to bed.)