“I don’t know, maybe it was the roses…”

I went digging behind a grocery store
inside some green metal containers
with sticky lids
and crusty insides

the first one smelled
like rotting meat
I lift the lid
and it’s full of rotting meat
the bacon had been exposed to air
for too long, it turned a coffee-colored hue;
spoiled brown
but the chicken bologna was sealed
and still chilled
full of preservatives, it surely hadn’t spoiled
yet

my parents used to tell me, “you’re spoiled”
and I wondered what that really meant;
was I always bound for the dumpster?
don’t worry, Mom
I didn’t get my nice shirt dirty
and I washed my hands afterwards

the next bin had a healthy appearance, neither sticky nor crusty
flushed with floral odors as I poked inside
to find cardboard and flowers
like some panhandle sign from Cupid,
the flying midget gutter-punk;
a devoted archer of stinking, rotten love

these gifts offer themselves
freely
as I pluck through bunches
of roses and breast meat,
spam musubi and donuts,
receipts and records

Whatever I can’t keep, I give away
knowing damn well
that everybody is hungry
for some food
and love
though I can’t save ’em all
I still try,
with guidance from above
and a little dumpster love

I rescue dying blooms
picking carefully,
always taking a while to find one
as decadent
and as fatal as you, my dear

my love,
you are the perfect dumpster rose,
lost & forgotten, wilting around the edges
the wind steals nothing from you

holding firm,
you are there
swimming somewhere in a ménage of garbage,
I can smell through the filth
when my nose is true;
your scent sincerely wants to be sought
I can tell

alas,
picked flowers are fleeting
as my love is for you,
oh, the bitter truth!
My heart is losing petals
in the darkness of these dumpsters
I also wait to be salvaged
or composted

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Categories: poetry | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on ““I don’t know, maybe it was the roses…”

  1. “with guidance from above…and a little dumpster love.” 🙂

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