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 night—about 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 mended—though some
the scattered, some the sorted,
some the neatly folded dreams.
These last: the dreams
which you and I must wear today.