Mikey Battles Emotion
On all fours, Mikey puts his ear
to the trashcan, hearing
a heart rustle
in the crumpled paper again.
He reaches into the gunk and says,
I’ll get you, but finds nothing.
He lies in bed reading,
and a whisper leaps from the receptacle,
never, never will you escape.
Mikey throws his striped pillow.
What do you want? He cries.
It (the trashcan) stands innocently.
The book Mikey reads says
that garbage allows a man to escape
his otherwise man-eating feelings.
(It is clearly some form of self-help.)
In the night, the trash moves
closer to Mikey’s bed. By morning,
his foot falls into its swallow.
just changed my life, I say
to the skinny streetlights
torching my car as it slips
through a darker country.
The pines are so sincere,
staying put in the dress of their roots,
never changing the deep
and rich color of wisdom.
My belly is a peaceful crowd
that whispers. The night is a radio-
active glow. At a stoplight, I find
my fingernails to be longer.
They have grown in one week,
which means my cells pass away
quick. Whatever is fluid
becomes harder. Blood is like this
when exiting the body. So is
the night when crawling into morning.
The easy acceptances turn into
no possible way out or back
to belonging. I think burritos
belong in my belly. God is
in there saying, next time,
don’t forget the sour cream.
This is what an altruist must feel
like. I would be a good person
if I had always just eaten
one of these small packages.