The Ironer

Obscene as the taste of blood and the closeness of her tongue
behind her teeth. Back and forth and now the iron must be
held still, pressed down with both hands to release, like veins
under her wrists, the unwanted pattern. The human body,
which will not last or smooth, stands inside a yellow room, the
color of a bruise above a woman’s knee, flowered, she thinks,
where no one can see. There is another white shirt on the table
to complete—because it is still correct for her to be. Her arms
flush above the patience of steam and the collar heals visibly.

:: Allison Benis White, Self-Portrait with Crayon (2009)

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