Wash Tub Turtle

Las Vegas laundromat about two Miles off the strip on Spring Mountain road. Dig through pockets for quarters before throwing the clothes in with the suds. Sneak two PBRs in tinted bags and pull out a card deck. Look around at drab mothers with Nevada skin that sags like a frown. A small boy takes his mother’s basket and wears it on his back like a shell. He wobbles around the laundromat, rolling slowly like a Galapagos. I remember the smell of beige carpet and dryer sheets in Mom’s room. My face pressed against the floor trying to fit into the basket like a contortionist. It felt uncomfortable on my neck and always fell off when I tried to crawl. The boy cranes his neck so the basket stays balanced until his mother grabs it without looking. She fills it with clothes and walks to the table to fold. I sip on my beer. Smear tear marks on the metal table and shuffle the deck.


Richmond, NJ