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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Things We Throw Away

 

 

I make sure the respirator is snug and will

not shift during cleanup. Otherwise,

I know how I’ll feel later.

 

The process takes about an hour

and a half. After everything is bagged

but before I get a shower

I take out the trash.

 

Not an hour later, a man in a plaid shirt

tucked into jeans, and white sneakers,

is out there tearing open my bags.

 

I see the things he salvages.

Things I hardly wanted to handle

with gloves on. Slow and silent, his hands

arrange reclaimed items in brown paper,

saving room for what may come.

 

—Mark Danowsky