2000.92_ph_web.jpg

(Photo credit: Gregory Crewdson)

 

The trash he threw away

Outside his walls—

Inside his walls was not

The place—

Stuck

To the rubber

Of his sole

Like glue,

Like seeds

He planted it all

In the fiber

Of the carpeting

She vacuumed

And it grew.

 

He tried to hide the

Stench

But rottenness peels away

From the skin and

Sticks

To the air

First to vibrations

Then to currents

And finally

To lips

To Teeth and

To hair.

 

The seeds divided—

As seeds often do—

They burrowed

Sprouted and

Grew something

New,

First one

And then a few

Until a garden of

Garbage

Wreaking with intention

And budding in the

Soil of hidden

Regression

Replaced

With the old

What used to be

New.

 

He dug a hole

Sweating beads of regret

To open the

Earth

Like a coffin

Like a womb

Wanting to bury

And wanting to exhume

Neither up nor

Down

Felt like escape

So he sat on the

Garden

And smoked cigarettes

That stuck

To the sides

Of his guilt

Like tape.

 

First one puff

And then another

Until the pile grew

And back to work

He faced

The hole

Like a coal miner

Climbing from above

And falling through

To the core

To the roots

To the bastion

Of the yes’s and

The no’s

He thrust

Into the landfill,

Bandied away—

They recycled themselves

And pushed from

Beneath and

Littered the

Top

Like maggots wriggling

Toward their

Prey.

 

The seeds grew

Around him

The weeds pointed

And laughed—

While the mud and

The worms

And the guts

Writhing on his behalf

Circled like a

Witch’s brew

Bubbling and

Filling his conscious

With steam

Whose anxiety

Frothed

Into view

With a sputter of blood

And a splash

Of sludge

Tilting his world

Askew.

 

As the sun began to rise

And rays of

Yellow

Bled through

He knew his task was

Futile—

His chances few—

He heard her

Slippers

Pad through the kitchen

And smelled the

Grinding of beans

And he wanted to

Anticipate

The mundane—

The coffee

The sugar

The cream—

But he knew

It would never

Be the same.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

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