where the writers are
Steam Cleaned


The middle aged in their middle spread, sit on the
Topmost bench while the pregnant with the aged
Sit on the middle bench. Toddlers and the ultra-old
Sit on the bottom below. Each bench streams in steam
Rising from the dipper's water-drops on the hot rocks.
Hottest of the hot on top and barely exuding
On the bottom, while the middle bench waves between
Sweat to merely warm-to-the-touch. Steam hisses from
The fire-box's bed, a fore sweat of the heat to come.
This sauna remains the only way for "clean" to be had;
Cheaply, weekly and deeply. Spiritual dirt drops dead,
While soap, rag and rinse finish off the bath.
In the ante-room we dress in our old social roles,
Ready to re-enact our trades and professions,
The filth of practice, compelling us to in-come, again.