Garbage Day by John W. Snyder

Tuesday in New York City-
it is bulk day.
And in a great stinking mass
this city launches all its heartbreak    into oblivion.

I used to wonder why I wasn’t put out with someone’s couch.
Sometimes I still wonder…

I breathe in deeply
the dirty butt-hole scent of 8th Avenue
as tendrils of smoke
bombard my olfactory receptors.

On these streets filled with more smokers than I could
ever hope to count
I am too afraid to ask for a cigarette
because I know
they will all wonder why I couldn’t
have just asked the person next to them.

I swim through the gutters
hoping to find my lost pulse.
            I think I dropped
                          it in Herald Square park
but maybe the pigeons ate it.

A woman made of rags came up to me.
I said “I’m sorry I don’t have any change for you today.”
I didn’t have any yesterday.
In 20 years or so
when I am most likely your neighbor

I will still not have any change for you.

The waste receptacles of this town
are magnificent
but they don’t hold a candle
to the inside of my head.

              The trash that’s settled to the bottom
                          is a dense pudding

and I eat it every morning when I wakeup
and every evening
              when I dream dreams
that could only scare someone
who’s run out of actual things
              to be scared of

              like death.

That is a fear easily washed away by the scent of your own blood.

Off the side of the curbs in
all of Manhattan,
              on garbage day,

there is the always unmistakable
pools of scum juice left behind .

Lying there
              is the inner workings of my
circulatory system.

My rubbish, my waste,
              flows through me
it ALWAYS flows through me

                                    no matter how hard I
                                    try to throw it away.

John W. Snyder
John W. Snyder is a Pushcart nominated poet from Staten Island. He is most known for being a chatchki walking around in a human suit.

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