A Morning Myth -- Maryann Corbett

A Morning Myth


Leave the landfill out of it. Leave recycling,
compost, sewage management, land-use planning,
sempiternal plastics. For now, permit me
merely this vision:


Draped in easy grace from a groaning trash truck,
down the alley, out of the dawn, Adonis,
charioteer of municipal waste collection,
rides with the morning,


shirtless, buff, and sweaty. Now leaping down, he's
swinging trash bins over the rosy-fingered
smog-haze. Oh, the beautiful arms of heroes!
See, the great vessel,


grinding into motion and spitting gravel,
nears me, while my Attic imagination
costumes all the bodies in breeze-blown chitons.
But— is he looking?


Nope. He's passed, on the flank of the noble mount that
waddles down the potholed macadam, beeping
warnings, with its compactor-innards trailing
stench from the actual


rot that living leaves us. And I, work-suited,
real-life ready, stand in the fragrant wake and
steel myself to toss an apotheosis
out with the garbage.


Maryann Corbett