A Hell for Beautiful Things

by kangcuzzi

A poem I wrote after our trip to the landfill. It’s been a while since I last wrote a poem about a social / environmental issue, so I’m still discovering this side of my poetic voice.

By the way: as is the case with most narrative poems, this poem sounds better when read aloud. 🙂

A Hell for Beautiful Things

There is a Hell for beautiful things:
the food we fed our children, our old
dancing shoes, the bags that carried
what it took to keep on living. Here,

flames are black and smell like home.
A bird swoops down and pecks
at memories drenched in the drool
of pigs.

There is a bridge made of cardboard.
Cross it, and hear the symphony
of greed: how harmonic it is, this line between
what we want and what we need—

or perhaps
          it isn’t any of these.

Perhaps this music is
love. Love, for us, meant
security, security meant
money, and money meant

computer parts and soda bottles
and old CDs. Love
meant dignity, of seeing our loved ones
grow up to walk on an earth that deserves them.

But do we deserve
              the earth?

Every day Mother Nature wakes
with a hole in her heart, where
sick horses feed. There, metal burns.
Paper wilts.

There is a child’s shoe buried
in a bed of plastic,
and perhaps the child went
with it too.