by Puma Perl

No tenderness in my touch
as I fold boxers and faded t-shirts.
Once they looked so forlorn, like
that small sad mess of yellowed cloth
known as “Daddy’s pile.” I liked to help
my mother sort laundry, her stretched
out brassieres – she called them bandos!-
my cotton underwear, designed to cut off
any random feeling to cunt or ass,
but I was nothing more than random
feeling, no fact, no evidence, no outcome.

No tenderness towards your clenched fists
as you sleep, your black shoes, your
size 44 pants, your soft dick, your Ramones
tapes, your live words, your porn, your past,
your midtown stories, your downtown dogs;
I get angry at Tuesday and the weather,
buses, punks and elephants, ringmasters,
trampolines and grapefruit, Yoko Ono,
and you, I am enraged at motorcycles
crashing into luxury cars, bad guys
with big hearts, and you, I am furiously
silent, saving words like cigarette nickels,
our only hope is no hope, just be
silent, silent as your sad shirts
which I will fold, once more.

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