If I owned time (ran its manufacturing plant),
my days would span the Grand Canyon. I’d put away
these lines, stop straightening the world into boxed
sense. I’d sleep half the time, let dreams dominate
my days. Awake, I’d wash dishes after a banquet.
I’d wash and I’d wash. Washing the task I’d find
born to do. The quiet clank and occasional clatter,
the warm soapy water under my bare hands,
reaching for the forks at the sink’s ceramic
bottom. I am a diver, finding in the dark what only
the dark should know. But now I know: the cheese
stuck between tines, the lettuce fragment that missed
scraping and compost, and finally, my hands swooping
again and again, searching for another dish, a missing
piece of ware to wash before it’s time to rest again.
And when I dream, I dream I’m washing dishes.
But in the dream, the dishes aren’t dishes, they’re
rabbits. The rabbits talk and feed us. They use spoons
that their dishwashing rabbits gather after meals
and clean in a tiny basin back in their rabbit hole.
The rabbits, though, need our care. They fit in the palm of my
hand. I have to be careful not to break, lose or drown
the rabbits. I kneel before the bowl I use as sink, then set
the first small rabbit out to dry, on the grass. He hops away.
I wash another and another, until I am wakened by the clink
of a dish, my feet aching with pleasure from standing
and washing and washing hundreds of dishes in my kitchen sink.