Riding with My Brother to the Dump
I Dump Truck
A white Chevy, the cab burdened
With a week’s worth of yard clippings.
My brother Luis races the wind,
Floors it downhill
Spraying grass on the highway—
Flat ball caps laid low.
Old jeans passed down from brothers
To whomever they fit best.
Plastic supermarket sunglasses
Reflect shirtless children
Slipping pebbles in their mouths,
The salty plums of earth.
III The Dump
The truck’s hydraulics,
A weightlifter’s metal arms
Pressing the cab,
Garbage slides slowly—
Spinach from a can.
Wet clumps stubborn
As confessions to a priest
To broom off.
I slip on the fermentation
We call lawn beer.
IV Us Brothers at the Dump
Hi-tops stomp around
Uncovering plastic army soldiers
Amputated from a backyard ground war,
Barbie dolls headless & stripped.
Dad speaks to an old man
Who sits in a folding chair fanning flies
With a piece of Frosted Flakes box.
We ask, where are those missing heads?
V Arriving Home
We drive away at dusk
To the final segments of Batman,
To flat TV dinners,
And more work to do.
Drive away to our silence
Broken by yawns, exhausted
For having been so young
And made to mingle in such a place
Where all good efforts
Settle quietly bowed to the sun,
To become nothing—
Land filled with former desires.
“Riding with My Brother to the Dump” first appeared in Heliotrope, Vol 7, 2003.