Barry Peters

Trash Day

Saturday mornings I rode in the Rambler
with my father to the dump across the tracks
beneath the smokestacks and up the ramp
to the cavernous pit where we’d toss our trash
in the mish-mash below, stench rising
to the platform where men and boys watched
dark machinery drive waste to waiting furnaces.

Tonight my dirty laundry is everywhere:
pants on the floor, shirts balled in a corner,
love letters shoeboxed, Divorce folder
on the desk, texts and emails in recycle bins—
the detritus of a life thrown away
when I moved into this four-hundred-a-month
hamper at the corner of Second and Main.


Barry Peters is a writer and teacher in Durham, NC. Publications/forthcoming include The American Journal of Poetry, Best New Poets 2018, I-70 Review, Jelly Bucket, Miramar, Presence, Plainsongs, Poetry East, Rattle, South 85, South Florida Poetry Journal, The Southampton Review, Sport Literate, UCity Review.