Khan’s Laundry

A man looking ceremoniously out of a serious glass
window is a story I know — 67th Street, Xanadu
decrees; during an interview, he prophesies your soul side
ways. When it rained, we used to spend hours here,
folding suits, chasing each other with steam
guns; on the best nights, yellow city light mixed
with the smoke of poppies, post-laundry fight fog,
you dreamed of Kubla Khan. Now I think I know
why I never told you what I dreamed of. On the bank
of a river, in Cumae, in yellow light, the townspeople
hoisted Sybil up in a basket — like a withering peach
she had grown decrepit — eventually, all that was left
was a voice. Xanadu, ceremonious man, I heard that voice
call out from the basket, up here, on my banks of yellow light,
you will hang your suits, your laundry.




Elise Houcek is a Michigan- and Chicago-based poet and visual artist pursuing a BA in English and religion at Kalamazoo College, where she assistant teaches creative writing. She has interned at Art Farm, has had work exhibited at Bend Gallery in Grand Rapids, and is a recipient of a Nature in Words Fellowship from Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for environmental education.