We Carry

by Marie Vibbert

In hell, we carry what we wasted.
We walk on plasticware,
a squeaking, slipping mass
No one carries people and I wonder why.
Didn’t we waste our parents, our loves, our
supermarket checker?
What god cares about things?
Because we didn’t? I care now. I care
about paper weight
on my back. Cups and foil and napkins and
this fishing line of milk jugs and I
think of rock salt scoops.

I weave finger loop braids of garbage bags
To hold plastic forks and Styrofoam and
They vanish when I use them enough.
If I try to set my burdens down,
They slither after me and wrap my arms like seaweed.
Maybe we cared too much.

How rich we all are in hell! Nowhere the
kids with bread-bag boots or those whom
necessity makes saintly. No garbagemen.

Fat and old and white as milk, we trudge over burning hills.
Next to me a man carries an orb of shimmering light
cradled against his padded suit shoulder:
heavy as a bowling ball, beautiful as sunset.
His potential.

Hauling plastic ain’t so bad.


Copyright © 2019 by Marie Vibbert


Featured Poet of the Month  Marie Vibbert

Marie Vibbert's poetry has appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, and tiny poetry houses around Pittsburgh, which as a Cleveland sports fan she considers a coup.  By day she is a computer programmer and once played defensive end for the Cleveland Fusion women's tackle football team.

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