Dishwashing & Sweaty-Mile Zen

Sitting hard, sitting tall,
sitting flat
on the carved wooden surface of the stiff oak kitchen arm chair
hitting the books from 5 to 5,
thinking I’m actually getting somewhere
– all the while
I’m chugging, chug, chugging cups & cups of hot black joe, plus too much inactivity’s the perfect mix for stiff old muscles to lock.

From the curve of my lower spine to the nape of my aching neck, muscle turns into long, tall, solid planks of cemented lower back pain.

Standing now, and feeling the stretch, the clear liquid soap drips slowly, downward
onto a blue ceramic plate, like honey from nylon bristles, swirling chocolate threads spiral ‘round its beveled edge to meet the bulging milky-blue center:

like the bulging flexed biceps of a beefy young man, or the silvery satellite image of a pitch-black, twinkling, Cape Cod night, or the inward curling conch shell of 20 Parisian arrondissements nestling tightly ‘round the Seine.

I push the suds out & ‘round to trace a circle ‘long the rim, ‘til a creamy white foam builds slippery & thick
then suddenly squeals like a happy pig indulged by the whiff of his wantonly whafting dinner, then’s if by chance the faucet trips,
– no such thing as accidents
a clear warm-water jet sprays the soapy surface, rinsing the pearly suds, while my middle finger brushes mindlessly, striking a piercing squeak from its porcelain edge, the steely white foam slips silently,
into a swirling watery vortex draining the stiffness of my aching neck, I feel the purge of release climb my spine like an intoxicating endorphin rush, in the after glow of a 20 year-old self,
running a slow &
sweaty mile.

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