where the writers are
Steam Cleaned

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.