I admire my own hand tossing
the eyelet-and-ruffle white;
in this motion, the idea of something
crass as bone and tendon impossible.
Then I remember I am in a laundromat
and the bit of cotton is a night gown
worn too often in sweaty weather.
And I've missed the washer.
The ornamental plate, a charger they call it,
shining copper and gold on the wall at sunset,
its animals dancing.
Below yellow-green stalks
extending forever to strange, enormous blooms.
All on the deepest cherry table.
But the dust is thick. And there blows a fan,
caked with dirt, next to the /vace/, not /väz/.
Because there is nowhere else to put it.
And I find out the flowers are not exotic but
indigenous to this dun-uncolored place
where I am trapped.
They tell me that to be happy, whole,
is to tolerate these both parts of things.
And if I refuse? May be the doom is better
than taking my eye,
even for one second, off the thing as it should be.
DENISE FLAIM lives in Falls Church, Virginia. She is working on a novel that takes place entirely in therapy, Pregnant with Mandrakes, and recently completed a children's book, My First Wedding. She is also looking for a theme to complete the last poem in a series on Persephone and Demeter while wrestling with an anti-nostalgic pantoum on childhood. Denise received her B.A. in English at Georgetown University and her M.A. at Dartmouth College. This is her first appearance in The Adirondack Review.