cleanliness is next to madness and the hounds snap

at her heels as she folds

the washing into neat piles of whiter than white.

her day has rhythm alright,

                  syncopation

that just won’t

give up,

dogging her brain until she wants to beat her head

on the brick wall in time with the rhythm of her day,

the pulsing of her blood,

or is it the sudsing of her machine,

the tumbling of her dry heart

beating in time

with the                   syncopated rhythm

of her day.

and they bite at her heels and blood

drips on the glass floor,

and she’s careful to walk carefully lest she slide

in the sticky redness and crash right through,

but she must dance to the               syncopated rhythm

of her life and there’s nothing

she can do but load up the dishwasher

and pray everything comes out clean.