Raquel Chalfi
(Translated by Tsipi Keller)

The washing machine that churns inside me
takes a break
the unnerving rumble    stops
it lays its hooves under its belly
the gurgle of the kill    calm
I pull out of its jaws   one by one
each item
after the boiling
after the spin
one    by    one
stretch them    hang them
on a clothesline
swinging in the wind

Here’s the fear of death
I’ve learned to be its subservient sub-tenant
but I haven’t learned to look it
in the eye

Here it is
fastened to the line with plastic clothespins
dyed optimistic yellows and greens
it flutters slightly in the warm breeze

Here’s the beloved man
a delicate flower
a slender stem

His figure emerges toward the backdrop of laundered linens
attempts to become
one of them

held tight with black and white

His likely life
and the unlikely
they too flutter
strike each other
among fabrics that have been beaten down by pounding
that have risen
from the bottom of the bottom
from the boiling heat of the abyss

and made their way to the roof
to break a brutal noon light

to whiten* 




*Also means: to shame.