Reciprocity

Infinite rows of
tear-stained mirrors
hung with nails on greasy walls
faded a laundromat grey
grimace at each other
from across the room
unnerved by the vastness
shouting at each other
too close to hear the words
for all the screaming

Rows of commercial dryers
with cyclops’ eyes
stare unblinking at the
procession of strangers
marking each one with its scent
consuming stray socks and promises
smiling through uncaring, toothless jaws

Blondes in pink curlers
and cut-off Levis
march in robotic procession
treading over soap-stained floors
in a blizzard of heat and
the opaqueness of indifference
used to dry clothes and tears
when the heat runs out.
Tear-stained schmaltz
works well with bleach
to get those whites whiter
and the colors brighter

The give and take of life
goes mostly unnoticed
by those who only take
whatever you’re giving
The reciprocity of cracked mirrors
hung over swivel chairs
smiling at each other over
fresh haircuts and idle chatter
reflecting each other willingly
and paradoxically
stimulating growth
in an inanimate society

4/14/1982

3 Comments

  1. Bess Jones says:

    I like this.

      1. Bess Jones says:

        The pleasure is always mine.

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