Their Original Shape

Dirty laundry told me a story
about the famous question.
After you sweat, God forbid,
my black and white stain
is returned to me, a casket
fond of clean chances.
This level of care can wonder –
a little dream, a cheap guide.
Come out, disappear, stretch:
ask the time inside-out,
the color soft.
Shrinking, your body says,
scared, among silks,
outrageous somewhere
with clouds of smoke.
So breathe. Wonder. As if
an at-home presto! is free
of limitation.
I have dust settled
on mishaps, the twist
in theory only.
This erasure poem is based on “So How the #%*& do I clean It?” by Jane Keltner de Valle. Glamour, September 2014, pages 182-186.

E. Kristin Anderson is the co-editor of Dear Teen Me, an anthology based on the popular website and her next anthology, Hysteria: Writing the female body, is forthcoming from Lucky Bastard Press in 2016. She is the author of seven chapbooks and is an editor at NonBinary Review, helps make books at Lucky Bastard, and is a poetry editor at Found Poetry Review. She now lives in Austin, TX where she works as a freelance editor and is trying to trick someone into publishing her full-length collection of erasure poems based on women’s and teen magazines. She blogs at and tweets at @ek_anderson.