POEM: Serial Killer in the Laundromat


“Serial Killer in the Laundromat”


As he walks in the open door

I’m acutely conscious of


how alone I am


how athletic he looks

–the man that holds

the plastic garbage bag

big enough to hide a body,

                            thick enough to snuff my life

when slipped over my head,

                         the soft layered plastic

becomes a black sucking “O”

as I struggle to breathe.


How easily he pins me,


holds me down until my fight is gone,


my light snuffed, then stuffed

inside a plastic shroud

he dumps me

           so much garbage

                            in the bin

–or perhaps he takes

(what’s left of) me to a secluded

                                 copse of trees,

my remains remain hidden,

whereabouts unknown.


If I’d chosen the folding table closer

to the door instead of the dryers,

my escape would not be cut off.


I keep my key handy by my side,

                             to thrust

into the eye of my attacker. From the edge

of my vision, I see him stop,


      in my direction,

                    and begin


pulling clothes from the dryer

into the enormous shapeless sack.

I continue folding,

pretend not to notice him

until he leaves when I

breathe again


until next time

my clothes need washing:

I flash again on every killer,

every monster, every unsolved mystery,

and every abduction discovered

as I once more enter the

deserted laundromat.