How the World Was Made

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night

The past is all around us; beneath the streets, falling from the sky. Sometimes fire, sometimes ice. When raccoons appear from gutter drains, crouch under streetlight, their eyes are tunnels, caves. Leaves swirl, mix with diesel smoke. It might snow.

I cart all my furniture, records, and books down to the street. Charlie peers through a crack in his door, watches me push my couch down the hall. Outside, its gray skies, a prophecy of crows. An intern from the hospital walks past, looks over his shoulder. I sit cross-legged on the couch, wrapped in a blanket. I am the prophet of snow.

A garbage truck pulls to the curb. The driver hops out, nods hello. He buys "One Dimensional Man" and "The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844." When he drops two quarters in my hand, I remember who I am. I turn, get back into the truck, drive home.

I am the last. I am writing a poem tracing the genealogy of the garbage I collect. I am stealing back everything that has been stolen from me. When I finish, I turn off the lights, open the window, let in the snow. Large flakes float past books scattered on the floor. Marx, Gandhi, Vallejo, Cesaire. A snowflake lands in the palm of my hand.

number 20 in the 2River Chapbook Series