When you do a good job,
people say the floor’s so clean
you could eat off of it,
but no one really eats
off the floor, so what’s the point?
Everything we shed goes to the floor:
viruses, old skin, loose hair,
mucous, spit, parasites,
and random would-be nourishing
particles dropped through
slovenly food preparation.
So the floor fills fast with refuse,
and something has to be done about it
from time to time with care and precision.
It’s important work this scrubbing, this tedium,
but I never feel threatened by the floor
unless it is rising to meet my falling corpse
at a rate sufficient to be alarming.
Though I use the standard mop and bucket,
this task brings me to my knees every time.
Is everyone’s floor covered with such
persistent sediment demanding severe scrubbing?
Or am I the only one grinding old bones
into hard tile while bleaching my skin and
cursing the damned and damnable
to leave me in peace once and for all?
In the end, this sparkling masterpiece is something
to behold, and I stare at it in minor amazement,
imagining briefly the pleasure I could have
eating off the floor for once, until the first steps
into the sterile field remove all illusions of safety.