the theme of the week is “hot” and the theme of the month is “pride” and the theme of the day is “neither cold nor shameful, but mild and fatigued”

in the parking lot
with the 12 portly black rubber
dumpsters, a man
pulls up in his beaten gray
gas wheezing vehicle.

he opens all 4
doors and lifts
the large rear door,
it sags like the man’s
pants. quickly, furtively,
he deposits thick plastic
bag after skin-sagging bag
of his refuse into parking lot
dumpsters, who do not
protest his gifts.

are they greedy,
these dumpsters?
are they insatiable?
or do they offer
acceptance?

not i, no, not i
walking up the evening
ramp and into night’s
parking lot. no,
i judge this man
for his corpulent waste,
for his abuse
of public receptacles.

in a moment
of vague shame
at my injured thinking,
i compromise
and unutterably thank
the man, for he
has not dumped his
excess directly into the sea.


a group of ravens, people
delight in their grouping
being termed a “murder”,
they hop and water-drop
in their guttural chatter.
a tall one, purple
and beautiful and
genius, quickly tears
into an exposed bit
of bagged garbage,
provocatively peeking
from beneath dumpster lid.
the gray battered vehicle
having chuffed off,
the raven
alerts to this easy meal.
sharing, yes, this raven
sharing in the knowledge
of opportunity, though also
bickering, bullying, chasing
off with shriek and
akimbo beak,
those that have been called
to partake.

community is community
but it is also exclusion.
community, defined
as much by those who are
allowed in,
as by those who are
walled out.
groups of people feel
inclusive and accepting
in their formations of denial—
you do not belong. you
do not gain entrance. we
can smile at you, show you
the privilege of our tombstone
teeth, tucked mercurialy in
their bloody beds, but
you do not belong. we
will show you our meal, and
we will invite you to our hall, but
we will not offer you our methods
of ingestion, leaving you
with only options to ostracize.

our community is supportive
and embraces us in warmth
and pride. a dumpster
can only hold so much,
before its contents are strewn
all across the parking lot,
to rot.

and so what we are
speaking of here,
reading,
talking,
are containers;
dumpster, meeting space,
community, apocryphal,
malignant, heart.

and here, what we are in
solitary communion with,
is containment;
are we to grow in size,
in effort to contain that
which threatens to burst
from us?
or are we to lessen,
that which is
ungraspable, that
which turns pottery,
human, hall, group,
to dust?

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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