The great alley trashbins become barges on stone water,
      old lettuce is seaweed of the back steps,
  glossy pillows of grapefruit and chicken bones
       mutant odors    lost gloves    pallid vegetables
The small furred sailors
      flick their thin tails, leap in from the fire escape.
Now at 6 A.M. comes the engine of anchors and shovels.
Shuddering out of our dream rugs,
          we sit up alerted:
                    "The trash is sailing away.
                      Our trash is sailing away!"
From the city canals, to the estuary dumps, and one mile
and two miles and ten miles,
fifty miles out to sea
A garden is growing up in the sea.
The shopping bag husks break, give way to big seeds
                sprouting ink and oil, gristle and felt.
Moss grows up made of iron webbing, nets of cable and chain.
A flower grows up
           bearing no pollen
  heavy on arbors, glistening fruit hang
                 without scent, without taste.
The sea gives itself to the leather roots
          providing what it can.
Nothing has exactly died,
but the supple fish swim beneath the giant leaves
         like little questions
         not understanding why their algae is hard to find
And the seagull cries with his mineral voice
     asking about the coastal cities
   where the big tar plains extend, with no soil,
                          and nothing growing.

© 1999, 2000 Grace Solomonoff