The Laundry Room
The cat had folded itself like a sweater in the space beside the dryer, as far from the dog’s jaws as she
could go. We’d just come from jail and words unspoken strung between us like wet clothes on the line, emotions stiff as starched khakis, when we shouldered open the door and it hit us: The smell, the blood,
the fur. Like we’d touched the wires hanging out the dryer’s back, we stood there stunned, jolted with
the flickering intensity of grief.
Nicki Orser is an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University, a certified Amherst Writers & Artists Facilitator, and the coordinator of the Penngrove Reading Series. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and two children.