The Laundromat

Paige Quiñones

dull feel of coin-rubbed fingers.

girl folds wife beaters that haven’t come clean.

embarrassment at finding lint-lined panties in a corner.

fear of losing her own.

hum. hum.

girl is aware of the man watching her pair each sock.

bored attendant chews his headphones. girl wonders

what he finds in the pockets of leftover jeans.

woman says sorry her shoes are so loud in the dryer.

reminds girl of a shaking bed.

at close, she approaches attendant.

what’s the strangest thing you’ve found?

          hard to say.

          schoolboy’s love letter.
          receipt for rope from 2006.

          a child’s molar.

my mother keeps my teeth in a drawer, you know.

they’re still sharp where they latched to my jaw.