Love Wash, by Barbara Laiolo-March

Use your clicker, do you love or hate your water?

A homeless man pours detergent on his jacket and greasy pants,
water runs over black rock, transparent rain seethes under a bridge,
tell them to drink from the faucet, let it run, put away your plastic bottles,
let it run, the water is sweet downstream from the cemetery
leaching into homeless men in pants, under the bridge
their homeless fires burn along the banks, see from the floating dock,
their orange lights in the stinking night.

response number one;
our well pump burns out, the water stops, net worth zero

response number two;
a hand dug well in our back field for us to bucket

how can people live by fresh water and not drink

car parts rust on the assembly line

how’s your lead test?
a) in the showers rash and calisthenics
b) in the cemetery sweet bones melt


Barbara Laiolo-March’s poetry and interviews have appeared in Dispatches From the Poetry Wars, The Missing Slate, Concis Journal, Occupoetry, Yemassee, Berkeley Poetry Review, Orion, Denver Quarterly and other journals and anthologies. She is a co-founder of the Surprise Valley Writers’ Conference and works with farmers and ranchers in the rural West. She lives in Cedarville, California.

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