Laundry Squares
by Kenley Kristofferson


"I'm not keeping score,"
Jack says
with his mouth
as he folds laundry,
repeating the same
mechanical
motions
like a soldier doing drill.

Tom used to say it
with his eyes
and I believed him.
Now they're saying it to
another woman.
Someone with time for them.
Someone who works less.
Someone who's better in bed.

Jack's hands are worn from use.
They remind me of my hometown's main drag;
cracked,
tattooed with dirt.
Now they're handling my
white shirts,
groping and twisting them,
trying to fold them
but never getting it quite right.
And he knows it,
starting the next shirt.

My clothes smelled of
peach hand moisturizer
after Tom folded them
into their perfect squares;
the squares I never noticed
until he left
and they became piles.

I have misshapen rectangles now.
They are good enough.
Too bad they'll
never be squares.






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