Spring 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 2 Poetry |

Gandhi Joins the Work Force

With hose in hand, finger on the trigger, I rap the head of the nozzle on the park restroom door, yell, "Clean up," in the most masculine voice I can muster, remove the tremor, notice small nicks in the wood where the metal handle leaves its mark. After a moment they come out, one after another, three men together who look up, instead of the vice squad see a small woman with a pressure washer and big boots trying to look tough. I smile, offer apologies, God, I'm sorry, I just have a job to do. I fashion myself Gandhi, no work too demeaning, no work beneath me, sold on the idea that by cleaning johns I'm doing a service to mankind, and well, mankind this certainly is, them on their gay march to the sea, noses held high and hang British rule. Inside I blast away any vestige of romance, swab toilets, do things my mother never intended me to do, notice things are cleaner here than on the women's side where the sticky condom lay on the toilet seat next to the torn piece ofPla

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