Friday, January 21, 2011

poem of the day 01.21.11

the laughter of young women

i am in the laundry room
of the apartment building
folding my wife’s underwear
thinking about women’s underwear
and happy to be alone
when i hear the voices of young women laughing
it is a good sound
it makes you feel happy for humanity
if only for a moment
the laughter of young women
men have won battles to the sound of it
won big games
saved nations
and built cities
i finish folding the clothes
make my way toward the elevator
closer to the sound of the laughter
of the young women
when i turn the bend
there they are
my super’s daughter and her friend
the super’s daughter is maybe fourteen
she is going to pound a man’s soul
to dust some day
if she hasn’t already
she says hello to me
catches me off guard
i turn and say hello back
then the friend says hi
i do a double take and say hello
thinking aren’t we done with this bit
then it is awkward
the young women begin laughing again
as the elevator arrives
i get in
take in the scent of warm clothes
of the young women’s laughter
thinking that all is right with the world
but then the young women begin to talk
they say something that sounds like “cute”
i puff up my chest
you never lost it, my boy
i tell myself
but then i listen closer
did you see him? the super’s daughter says, laughing
he was so confused
his eyes almost bugged out of his head
like a dear caught in headlights, the friend says
their laughing turns into cackles
shit, it’s been almost twenty years
since girls laughed at me so openly
then the metal gate closes
and the elevators moves me back up to my floor
where i think
though many great moments have occurred
via the laughter of young women
nations have fallen as well
sports seasons have been lost in devastating fashion
careers ruined, too
great cities destroyed
and men have been extinguished in their beds
the small fires raging inside of them
smoked out
by the simple sound
of the laughter of young women.

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