The Mother finds me washing my hands
with lavender detergent in the employees only room.
“The washer ate my dollar,” she explains lifting
the lint crown off my head and the lint veil
from my eyes. I follow her, and root my hands
through its intestines, pinching out each quarter:
“Do you want me to scrape the dirt off those
with my teeth?” She shakes her head, so I place
them in her palms. “Why is there a sea turtle
painted on your window?” I wanted to be constructive.
I say, “I feel unfurnished without it.” The Child watches
me from a metal cart. He’s not supposed to be in there.
“He’s not supposed to be in there.” The Mother hushes
me: “Be constructive.” I want to be. She gets another
washer going. I pick apart the crown, make gloves instead.
Elise Triplett is a writer from Dayton, Ohio. They have been published in Black Bough Poetry and interned with Mid-American Review. They can be found on Twitter @TriplettElise and elsewhere, probably.