A response to Dag T. Straumsvåg’s ‘Endless Plains, Clouds,’ which you can read on Asymptote here.

Was the thought that someone,

a woman, of course

might vacuum up a Ming Dynasty vase

a moment of cold, clear irony

or an admission of ignorance?

A tacit confession to never having vacuumed

to not understanding how the heavy shards would destroy the machine

from within?

Like playing an offshoot of charades in theatre class

And one woman

from our circle of women

throws out a suggestion

to the one man

in our circle of women

“How about ironing?”

He looks up

and starts doing these strange hand movements

reminiscent of spreading pancake batter around a frying pan with the back

of a ladle.

“My wife does that.”

And me?

I don’t iron

and I don’t own an iron.

I’ve made sure this never becomes an inconvenience by also not owning

anything that needs to be ironed.

And I sweep my room.

Less can go wrong with a broom.

By annaputsover

Translator and English tutor

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