I went to the dump to buy a pair of shoes
and meditate on how my family left New York
and moved to the shittiest of states

New Jersey, Florida, Texas

at the dump I found rotten Pepsi, cannonballs,
unsteady ground, bagged up storms,
and an itch on my left calf
there was no DJ at the dump this time
and no shoes that fit me

I abandoned the heaps and trudged back through diapers
with the same shoes I arrived in
and vowed to take better care of my belongings
to fix my own holes
or avoid them in the first place

I listed the holes in size order:
New Jersey, Florida, Texas

I counted the debris that had stuck to my shoes
and peeled them off in size order

a trash city only turns to garbage if it doesn’t get picked up

—Alix Jason

illustration by Harriet “Happy” Burbeck

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