washing the car     for example…    

…how you park it

beneath a tree     or in the shade of a house

and gather a brush, a sponge, a chamois

aim water at the body

then let hands and eyes learn its secrets

the curve of fender     bulge of bumper

covert places where drops dry into ghosts

so you work quickly     your arm in arcs

fat drops to scant trails     grace     you see

as you put your eye near her surface

oh, I could make a book of this     I see it now

return to Egyptian slaves washing

Pharaoh’s chariots     context

how car washing is class-driven

how my ancestors polished carriages

broughams of wealthy burghers     how     against their will

men’s fingers memorized lines

the touch of oak-grain curves

how the dad would pass on the art of it to his sons

the sexism of that     the truth of that

or how the car wash     the detailer now

subvert our values

or I could simply immerse you in ritual     clean then dirty

then clean again    as she shines once more     under a shade tree

while your radio plays the anthems


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

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