The Ancient Modern

We Dream of Cosmic Laundry  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

The Universe is warm. Within
the wash of sunrise, our bedroom
             is a basket of chairs,

of clothes and books. The nearest
is the book I read to you
last nightabout the temple builders,
who enshrine their gods

in stone. It turned your dream
            into the story of a cavern
where laundry is sorted. You
are the Sibyl who separates

by colors and by types of cloth,
whose task is choosing sacred stones
to pound the laundry clean.

You laugh aloud, alone, because
did this stone in your hand imagine
            in all its subterranean years

that such things as fabrics and dyes exist?
Such things as the ritual of washing?
Or that it would, itself, be smoothed,
and polished by something

                         soft as laundry?
And you wake up, laughing, to tell me
the Universe is warm from washing,
its dreams all mendedthough some

the scattered, some the sorted,
some the neatly folded dreams.
                        These last: the dreams
which you and I must wear today.


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2020 by Joshua Alan Sturgill

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