Slides (Interpreted by Nancy) by Nancy Kangas

You aren’t really dirty.
We just like to wash what we love.
And because our tongues are not rough
we invented this small tub.

Tigers want one reason
Tigers want one good reason why
mice should not rot in prison
then be crunched with honey on toast. Maybe
if a mouse squeezed an opera
that spoke to the fire of the tiger’s stripes, maybe
there could be some kind of mercy.

Then we went to a club in Mexico City
Three years later, eager for gainful employment
I answered an ad: customer assistance at a bathhouse.
All previous experience with baths
related to evenings, pajamas and beds.
I saw myself at a desk, smiling at wet people
who gently dripped and were so grateful
when I pushed to them their white terry towel.

See their little chests heave!
See their little chests heave!
We spied them late last night
loping in the middle of the road.
Can everybody love everybody
and every bunny. Please say yes.

I did not know I loved
I did not know I loved
how pants can’t stay
on skinny men’s hips

Nancy Kangas lives in Columbus, Ohio. Her poetry has been published in print and online, and for over a decade she edited Nancy’s Magazine. She writes and draws for Muse magazine, and often teaches poetry in residencies sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. Nancy works as a cut-flower grower, florist and public librarian.