go down. untangle the bundle of sheets at your feet. group them in three piles: the stained domestic flowers, the absolute whites, the frantic geometric blues. group them. set them down by the washing machine. open the lid and take up the white. place them carefully loose around the center spindle
so they will not tangle or jolt. a cup of soap, bleach. let no man put asunder. slam down the lid. turn the knob. the cycle begins. your hands perforated with bleach. your hands swollen at the knuckles.
put a coffee jar on the table. instant coffee. a small prescription pill against high blood pressure. fill a cool aluminum kettle. set it down upon the bluest flame. teaspoon, sugar, take a cheap cup and saucer down from the shelf. go down. into the brothel of your unknown father, your name under his tongue, his hopelessness under your life. we all go down and put asunder. (an obscene phone call) hello who? Mr. Assistant Manager who? oh yes, yes, Mr. Assistant Manager. oh yes, yessssss, Mr. Auditor. Mr. Constable. Mr. Auctioneer. sin is kinky, out-of-doors. sin is the gutter. every house explodes. every hill shall fall.
an obscene phone call wishing you dead. dead like the virgin hop-scotch whose panties were always clean. dead like the pensioned blacks, shivering on the benches of summer. the rape of you. everybody listening. your children grow unintelligible. preaching where who? how what? dictating how much how little long you sat on the toilet today?
this flat and neutral hour is sheltering knives. you count your own breathing like a thousand possible betrayals. Beauty. Justice. Family. they all join hands with the worst.they all join hands. this kitchen. this home. we are left. righteous beggars.
sliding into the dead skins of mothers, swallowing the stone at the bottom of their love. our fathers silent, always silent in our spines. we are left. building from powerlessness and doubt. every over-priced brick
the kettle screams