HOW TO FOLD A FITTED SHEET



Jesu Christi! It’s only a fitted sheet, it came folded
in the package – this isn’t witchcraft, but anything larger
than a double (and even then it’s no picnic)
seems an hour’s Laocoön from the line, and a queen-
or king-size is to wrestle something part kraken, part tsunami.
Thus I plunge into this billowing ocean of white
as yet untrammelled, a Leander, taking corners like a boxer,
arms outstretched in contrapposto crucifixion.
A Sestina is an easier thing not to be whelmed by, a metaphor
for panic, pulling into shape in six minutes, resting
on the seventh before a second try
as the whole thing maliciously puckers in like a prolapse.
It’s like being trapped under ice,
knowing that you’re drowning, not knowing which way is up.
There is a method, but it has been lost,
this origami, this God-like tesseract of space-time.
A sextant is needed, a horizon line, to set a course
true, bringing together east and west, north and south
into a cool, smooth mass of polyester cotton, an in-folding
of white matériel like the making of a pavlova,
or else just fall face-down on the back of Lohengrin’s swan
and ride it into the night to an Earthly Paradise
where such modern conveniences
are unknown.             

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