it's my job to tie the ballons
to the dumpsters. i come in the night
with my pockets full. i prefer purple.
purple balloons. you never let me go easy.
you lingered in the dark of our house
with your eyes like light bulbs.
my vocation filled you with fear.
you would ask, "where do the dumpsters go
once they lift from the earth?"
& i would explain, "it's not
a garbage man's job to ask."
i breathe the balloons full & tight.
in on motion, knot their necks closed.
one on every corner of the bin.
i always peak inside before the send off.
you never know what you're releasing.
once, i saw a rocking horse. another night
i saw three bowler hats in a nest
of dead cabage. the truth is
everything can be sent away, even people.
i woke up one day & you were
a potted violet. i talked to you
i said, "no please. i was a good lover"
but you said nothing. in the end
every trinket is purple. i watered you
& told you i would try harder.
i worked faster to try to come home as quick
as i could. but you don't understand.
someone has to raise the garbage. someone has
to fill his pockets with balloons
& slip off into the night. we don't ask
what our bodies think of our motions.
callouses on my fingers from the knots.
your petals falling like tongues.
a wilted man in a plot of soil.
carrying you all night & saying
"see this is what i do when i am gone."
i set you in the last bin of the night.
i said, "if you can, tell me where
the garbage goes" & i watched
the great green bin lift away. past rooftops.
past the murky night clouds. into
the nothing nothing above just to be returned
by the time the sun whistles
again in the morning.