SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #15     FEBRUARY 2004

BARBARA REIHER-MEYERS


VALENTINE'S DAY AT THE LAUNDROMAT

TV flickers; machines whir,
stubborn stains persist.
I smooth and fold towels into thirds
while Alex fondles Dmitri.
Firelight frames the lovers.
Hot lips brush her nape, her shoulders.
Humming extractor muffles distractions.

Luke enters, bringing a blast of cool air.
He smiles crookedly,
gazes with cow eyes, takes my hand.
Half-struggling against his embrace,
I retreat toward the dryers.
Bony pelvis pins me against a machine.
I collapse into his arms;
husband, kids, and mortgage
washed away in the heat of the encounter.
Buttons and zippers fly in furious passion.
Luke's lips soak my throat and cleavage.
I watch, slit-eyed, as his head
sinks out of camera range,
brain spinning in tandem with machines.

Buzz! buzz! again and again!
The extractor signals "finished"
Normal breathing returns.
Damp clothes replace moist bodies.
I am alone again in the laundromat
while the rest of the world is getting it on.

>>>

Editorial Note

The Sentinel Valentine
Month Special

Poems

LOLA SHONEYIN
(Guest)
Like A Split Reed At Waterfront
Music-making
Trysexual
You Shall Love Again

JOSEF LESSER
Fragments Of a Letter Washed Ashore

EYITEMI EGWUENU
Chronicles III

NGOZI OBASI AWA
The Bee Hums Again

BARBARA REIHER-MEYERS
Valentine's Day At
The Laundromat

KODI AZUONYE
Entreaty

DURLABH SINGH
Sleep

DIKE OKORO
Cape Town

NGOZI UNIGWE
Beauty Is You

TOLULOPE OGUNLESI
Lorenzo and Maria

NNAMDI NDU
Substance Of My Dream
Whom Shall I Tell?
Remembering Old Times

Interview
NNOROM AZUONYE
My E-Conversation with
LOLA SHONEYIN

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