Something Old, Something New, Dixie Salazar

IMG_2150Untitled, London Bellman


Something Old, Something New

Headed for the Pink City Landfill,
with thirteen years of junk
in a borrowed truck,
mud speckled plastic decoys,
fan belts, air cleaners, tires,
porta potty never used,
a full wind came up,
plastering wet fields
with blue wall paper peelings
and cancelled checks.
A straw bird flew backwards
and a satin Christmas ribbon
unwound in the wind.

The twelve foot floral sofa
was another story.
“You deal with it,” he said.
“You got the furniture.”
Twelve feet of floral green
on white, turned gray
with promises and receipts
for three years of installments
plus late charges–
one whole end of it sagged
where he propped himself
through thirteen years
of news, weather and sports.

They chopped it up, dumped
in the hole left by the algae slick
Doughboy, the realtor told me.
In dreams I still see it
buried, decomposing in hardpan
with the lost and discarded:
missing candles from Micky’s
Birthday cake puzzle,
flattened pacifiers, Hot Wheels,
an exact replica of the human ear,
lost thermometer fixed
at ninety eight point six
and the moth scalloped valentine
engraved with “Forever my Love.”

Now I push a shopping cart
filled with all I own—today—
before it’s stolen or grabbed by the cops– pots
for boiling Top Ramen, rusted hot
plate, ragged toothbrush, stained pillows
and a cigar box of creatures spun from
from fairy glass, giraffe, fish, monkey,
octopus, flamingo, pig, horse, my favorite
a swan– secret stash for when
I get really hard up. Sitting with my back
propped against the cart and morning
glories, I watch a soft wind sifting
through the car wash, picking up plastic bags
and yellowed sales slips from the thrift store
think of the rows of used clothes, the racks of shoes,
the shelves of dishes, candles and books
the stuff of our lives, old and new becoming
old before it’s out of the box. I wrap my arms
around this old army coat, embrace all that’s survived–
all that’s discarded.

Dixie Salazar

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