Karmic Laundromat

Though less than a dustball
in the lint filter of history,
he tumbled headlong
through the cycles of life's mystery
with a half-scoop of alacrity,
a tad lemony and olfactory,
but not a pinch of bleach
to leach the mortal stain,
which all must wear—alack—
upon a shirtsleeve or a brain.
Yet all was not lost;
his grimy mind he tossed
in the shuddering machine
of life's mingled joys and pain,
and he watched love's basket whirl,
the soiled thoughts slowly whitened.
The sudsy swill then drained,
the load spun out and lightened.
And when the time arrived
to dry his damp desires
in Spirit's greater fires,
he lugged the pile
across the aisle
and turned the dial to high.

by Richard Schiffman

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Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist, poet, and author of two biographies. His poems have been published in Southern Poetry ReviewAlaska Quarterly ReviewNew Ohio ReviewThe Christian Science MonitorThe New York Times, and many other publications. His poetry book, What the Dust Doesn't Know, is forthcoming from Salmon Press.