The Women in My Family All Clean the Same

after Russell Atkins


they swear it'll bring back the dead / they mix water, sunlight & white vinegar
to clean their mirrors /  they use newspaper to wipe their glass tables / they sprinkle
baking soda on their pillows / they clean before the streetlights come on / they iron their bed sheets
on the highest setting / they call it spirit cleansing / they scrub their toilets & tubs with flathead
toothbrushes / they promise it sharpens your memory / they wipe down their walls once a
week / they splash a pinch of apple cider vinegar in their laundry / they gargle with peroxide & salt
to whiten their teeth / they insist it brings in money / they sweep with wooden brooms / they hand
wash their bras & panties / they keep their cleaning supplies in special dark corners / they wash
their floors with string mops / they polish their furniture with elbow grease / they train
their children to "throw that mess away" / they blast Anita Baker / they believe
filth causes headaches / they never ever wear gloves