Chip’s Laundromat

Stephanie Rogers

We walk in on Thanksgiving, trash bags filled with clothes

slung over our shoulders. Heather insists I break

a twenty at McDonald’s. I buy a dollar cheeseburger, eat it

as the cashier counts out the nineteen dollars’ worth

of quarters. No one else is there. Neither of us

bothers to separate

the whites from colors or obey

the posted sign that says we shouldn’t

      sit on top of the washers. So, we lie

back, discuss the different shapes

the ceiling stains resemble: a butterfly, atomic

            bomb explosion, ruffled

curtain, deep red

crayon melting down the wall. We don’t want to go home.

Three streets over, our parents wash the dishes, hit

their joint again, and pack the leftovers

  away, while their two daughters hope

the dryers won’t really dry the clothes

         in fifty minutes. We drag them out. Heather insists

we fold the underwear.

Stephanie Rogers grew up in Middletown, Ohio, and she now lives in New York City. She was educated at The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati. Her first collection of poems, Plucking the Stinger, was published by Saturnalia Books, and her second collection, Fat Girl Forms, was published from Saturnalia Books in 2021.

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