Because peacocks belled around her ankles when she first walked
into that dingy place;
Because I saw gold slither out of her fist when she skimmed her
hands along the folding tables;
Because she made me orange pekoe tea in the back of her car with
a cigarette-lighter kettle;
Because she took my chin and nudged me to peer through a gap
in the plastic crates she used for walls;
Because she stilled my unreliable mind as we watched the watery
light spill from the laundromat, and the dark figures moving between
machines, billowing and taming cloth.
Melissa E. Jordan (she/hers) lives in northwestern Connecticut. Her poetry collection, Bain-Marie (Big Wonderful Press) was published in 2015. Jordan’s poems have appeared in The Cossack Review, Word Riot, Otis Nebula, Terrain, Off the Coast, Squawk Back, and elsewhere.