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Tuesday, January 11, 2022


by Katie Kemple

We placed the blue trash can
and the green recycling bin
filled with the detritus
leading up to Christmas
in front of our townhouse
garage, like we always do,
and our neighbors too, and
they stayed there, all the way up to
and well past Christmas,
past New Years. The brown
cardboard boxes of mail-ordered
gifts stuck their tongues out
at us, papers glued like stickers
to the pavement courtesy
of the rain, and the sanitation
drivers never came. The neighbors
built cities of empty boxes.
Shrimp skins haunted us.
We wore yesterday's diapers.
The CEO of the sanitation
company makes 154 times
the pay of his average employee:
twelve-million dollars a year. 
Crows swung down to feast
on the new year's abundance. 

Katie Kemple (she/her) is a poet, parent, and consultant based in San Diego. Her work has appeared recently in Longleaf Review, The West Review, and The Shore Poetry