This poem is featured in What Nature. Order a copy today.

       Fresh Kills Landfill in New York, open 1947–2001, was once the largest landfill in the
       world, and visible from space.

Our kingdom is of trash

Trash the crown
of gulls wheeling on the methane updrafts

Trash the throne,
this scaffold of carcass and crust

Out of alley and attic, out of sewer and sluice,
trash creeps among us—

Trash the claw, the moving in darkness

Trash the animal out of place:
the body blown against the fence, the meat that spills over the border

Trash the skin we shed and shed,
and over it grows, and over it grows—

Trash the forest. Trash the reef that whitens the sea,
that drags the sky, that flaps
its baggy wings in the branches of trees

Trash this language
that clutters, that eddies and snags, and whelps
its litter in hoarded places

Trash this mouth that undecomposes

This mouth now waiting to howl

Read other poems from What Nature here.