NARCISSUS

Styrofoam cups, a plastic 7-Up bottle, a beer can

And red and gold and orange autumn leaves

Roll along the highway’s shoulder

Gaily tossed by gusts of wind

 

What would fall be without Americans

Tossing their detritus out car windows

A child’s canvass shoe here

And there a crumpled slipper

 

Baby’s diaper bye-bye

Schnuck’s plastic be gone, Aldi’s “Shop different”

A highway is another word for landfill until

We run out of room and bomb the mountains

 

America, once beautiful, once verdant

Now a trash flash mob throwaway

Now McDonalds Burger King Taco Bell

Jingle all the way

 

Give me leaf trash, bits of broken bark

Stream-split granite shards and sandblown glass

Shriveled iris petals and worm casings

And shed blue racer snake skins

 

The sponges of Eden did not write

About the trees the seas the leaves the serene breeze

They lived and soaked up sun and water

And saltily brushed the first oral

 

And then Man came along a wrote and wrote

Epics word songs and poems jazz birds and bees

And then Narcissus saw himself in the water’s mirror

And threw the first Kleenex into the stream

 

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