by Lisette Alonso

Greetings from the grayish tides of The Dishwater Coast,
where soapsuds blossom and salmonella schools
colonize the Teflon reefs. I haven’t found a way to salvage
these ruined fingers, the skin that puckers and peels away.
I’m up to my neck in porcelain and crystal, but there’s charm
in the music they make, like prisoners dragging tin mugs
along iron bars. In Laundry Canyon, the children cast off
their clothes like people they’ve been, then offer them up
to the gods of stain-free and whiter whites. They don’t know
they’re losing themselves on a cellular level, childhood floating
on the rinse water like sea foam. On the Push Broom Plains,
the dogs fold at our feet, sleep as people sleep, weary
from snout to spleen, when they get up, they leave behind outlines
in fur, fuzzy tumbleweeds that travel the ceramic landscape
propelled by our own shuddering breaths.