Sandwiched between highway and river
lies a mountain of confounded dreams
rising to ridge and pinnacle from a once
swampy ravine. Built of time
and materials, sometimes a mattress,
black plastic bags, or shards of cloth bleed
from bloated, grassy slopes.
This cemetery of the wasted and unwanted,
the broken and obsolete is an accidental time
capsule layered in decades of coal ash,
patent medicine bottles, ceramic chunks,
brass buttons, rusted pails, shoe leather,
animal bones and machine parts, a seething
stew of forgotten stories the future may discover.
Soaring with the defiance of pyramids
and mystery of Indian mounds
these tombs of trash will outlive the downtown
towers and suburban homes feeding
this collective collage, these living dead things
once working and beautiful,
now percolating gas and poison water.
I wonder about the newspapers and paint
cans, egg shells, the broken baseball
bat, hole riddled tee shirts, and dead
house plants. Rest in peace stuff used
up or without further use. I thought all
had disappeared when the packer truck pulled
from the curb, but what we leave lives.