reshape while damp

There's a certain tenderness in washing clothes;

A keen eye on the cloudscape,

A fastidiousness as you select the right space for each garment on the line, pick a peg and snap it cleanly over the hem of a shirt or a very small singular sock,

How the sun reaches through the weave and stitches; that intricate threaded handwork that someone cared enough about, warming buttons and rivets and zips

How the light gets into imperceptible spaces, and then dryness blooms through the whole

How the sun dries wet sleeves and crotches, the inside of hoods the last to hold their dampness, swinging upside down, arms held up in startled joy like something born

How you reshape school tops into a shadow of someone's shoulder span and slope, the faintest rim of grey still smudging the neckline like a tide

How each garment so clearly has its own body.

And then at the end you take the laundry into your arms, fold each item flat with smooth fingers,

Breathe in its scent, and slip each piece into a dark drawer, fresh-pressed and ready for wearing


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