Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-one
Spring 2013
 
Clean Kitchen
           after Adrienne Rich
Jennifer Givhan

             you walk into a room
and see a clean kitchen
see        that’s what I mean you walk
into a wall
and there’s a clean kitchen
             who cleaned it?
they called them the girls
peroxide-yellow hair black roots
like basalt rock in the backyard, bathed in
dog piss
             Why didn’t you clean the kitchen yourself?
I kept trying to get it right
the way I walk into a room
and see a blank       wall
the baby sucking me, an inappropriate
pacifier
             how old is she, the baby?
the girls were no younger than I am
people call me ma’am, at the drugstore
the fast food line
             you don’t cook in your clean kitchen?
I kept trying to get it right
walking into walls, the baby
             see that’s what I mean       you kept
trying to find a room

About Jennifer Givhan

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