Every weekend for the last seven years,
I’ve cleaned the same desks,
emptied the same wastebaskets,
Windexed the same glass ash trays
of cigarette tar. I’ve scrubbed
heel marks off floors with Brillo pads
until my fingerprints
have been worn so smooth
it would make a safe-cracker jealous.
With the radio turned up,
I dance with my broom,
sing along with The Stones,
who can’t get no— satisfaction.
When the sheriff’s patrol
is sitting across the street,
I make a big display of taking the vacuum
out of the trunk, so they can tell
I am not robbing the place,
because one time, I was mopping the floor
when a deputy who didn’t recognize my car
walks around the corner holding a raised shotgun
and stares at me through the glass door . . .
Putting myself on remote control,
I clean a room and my mind is so far away,
I have to go back and make sure it’s done.
I daydream about the blonde in Literature 101,
and how great it would be
to meet James Baldwin
or Tennessee Williams.