Laura Thompson (University of Cincinnati, US)
Everything you need to know about me
you’ll learn in the laundromat.
You watch me sort my colors from my no-longer-whites.
Bleach is a risk I won’t take.
I still read the detergent bottle, fearing
something has changed since last time.
I have the cleanest pennies
in town and pockets inkier than a squid.
You wonder why I carry a first-aid kit
until you see me slice my finger on a stapled hem.
Most of my hangers have been bent
to break into a car (my own, keys locked inside).
I’m not a Goth or a hippie. Black and tie-dye
are just camouflage for spaghetti stains.
I haven’t been to any of the places on those shirts.
But people think of me when they leave me behind.
Read the Rorschach blots of blood on my underwear
to see how often I lose track of time.
Don’t bother looking for lingerie. Nothing
in this basket is more delicate than my skin.
Laura Thompson earned her MFA from Vermont College of the Fine Arts and is currently enrolled in the PhD in English program at the University of Cincinnati. Her work has appeared in Tiger’s Eye, The Fertile Source, Oysters and Chocolate, and Stirring: A Literary Collection. She resides in Cincinnati with her gecko, tortoise, axolotl, and hedgehog.