Evil Under the Sun

Hanging clothes out to dry, I feel
leftover suds prickle my palms with stigmas.
The clean scent of detergent in the garden
masks evil under the limpid sun.
I have changed machines thrice this month,
not one has been able to get rid of sins.

Washers are the devil's work, I swear it.
I have watched the ruin of clothes
as they press against the threshold's
gray rubber lining. That friction
is a lurid caterwaul coupling
in the deluge of soapy water.

Before such spectacle, I shut my eyes,
plant callous knees into the tiles,
bow in prayer. O Blessed Mary,
Mother of God, have mercy on lingerie,
cotton socks, jeans and colored shirts
for they know not what they do.

Once my husband poked in his head.
And berated me for occupying
the bathroom with pagan practices
when he definitely had to go.
Since then I sprinkle his bedding
with holy water bottled from chapel fonts.

I still plead Christ's intervention in his favor.
He knew not what he said. I should never have
allowed him to join the church choir.
The parish priest hotly denies my requests
for exorcism now. And such indecency,
staring at the froth of green around my mouth.

< Back | Slow Trains Contents | Dirt Therapy Contents | Other Chapbooks | Next >