Butts

By Joe Martinez

But Picker Cigarette butts.
Tossed out the window of a moving car.
Flicked perfunctorily from the hand of a man walking.
Dumped en masse from the ashtray onto the church parking lot.
Suckled by the model, the alderman, the cop, the bum.
Not my problem anymore.

The city is rife with a plague of butts, filling every crack and crevice one can find.
Sometimes alone, sometimes in great caches wrought by some trick of hydrodynamics,
Flowing rain with a slight acidity cleaning one spot to dump in another.

They are inescapable.
In the big dirty city they lurk along the margins with friends:
Mr. Doritos Bag
Nacho-cheese-flavored compressed food products are great!
Old chewing gum
Make mine Juicy Fruit please!
A bag from McDonald's
Over 3 billion sold!
A plastic Mountain Dew bottle
They sublimate from solid to gas, don't you know!

It's hand to mouth, mouth to hand, hand to the street.
They pay people to clean this up, I'm giving someone a job!

The plastic shopping bag flies blind through the night sky.
I triple bag my groceries!

Lincoln Navigator menaces Civic.
Can I have two sleeves on my latte? It's too hot…


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Copyright©2002 by Joe Martinez.

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