Mania Poetry

Lemon Clorox by Emily Uduwana

I inhale bleach,

scrub the bathroom floor

–3am and breathless–


until each risen stain

presses air

into eager lungs.


I hate cleaning,

hate the stench 

of chemicals,


the sweetened veil

of lemon-scented poison.

I hate the memories carried,


memories of hospitals,

of sanitized spaces,

of swollen eyes.


I let the dog out–

one of us should smell grass,

taste dew-covered leaves,


before the mania passes

or consumes the house

in a cloud of Clorox


and antiseptic wipes

and 2-ply towels

(if any are left behind).


Emily Uduwana is a poet and short fiction author based in Southern California, with recent publications in Miracle Monocle, Eclectica Magazine, and Rubbertop Review. She can be found on Twitter @em_udu.