Now It’s Used for Yardwork

I press out wrinkles with giddy pleasure
in boxers: fold, tuck, crease out
every imperfection with rhythmic intensity.

The reordered threads rise up on unmade sheets.
I attend to each arm of each shirt, feeling the cloth
& embossed ironies /teams /movies; a shirt
reversed, tucked and folded like momma
taught me. She bought me the T-shirt,
and I press the crags and bunched-up
collars of laundry left in the bin
past due – clothing unhampered until
the cool fabric clenched into a dry ball.

Halfway through a shirt I pull out
5 dollars and a receipt for two
Chinese chicken combos.
I toss the receipt, tuck the rest
in my wallet, casually smooth, tuck,
and fold the shirt again and again.

This won’t clean the room.
But still – Momma’d be proud – she cleaned
like a whirlwind winter storm, reordering
stained autumn messes while we slept.
‘Cause because is a far more textile word than
we think, prone to lint and burn marks and
grass and mud and booze and blood and yes
love. And sometimes an unwashed wrinkle
caked in her smell, tucked in the folds
of some fabric imploding in the corner.



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