The Laundress


By Benjamin Jackson

Sweat-scented sheets
which once wrapped legs and limbs,
limbered by love and lust and expansive,
demonstrative selves
now sit clean and sterile,
cast aside on a lonely shelf like trophies
commemorating a sport no longer played.

You folded them crisply with your distant hands,
just before you left.

Reduced by one to one,
lessened when your key,
removed from the lock for the last time,
was pressed into my sweating, salty palm:
its green rubber cap matching your fading eyes.

I kiss it as you recede,
bronze tart on my tongue,
softer than your heart.

Category: Poetry