Discharged again, his wrist still braceleted,
he shows up, box in hand, to help replace
my faulty garbage disposal: days before,
the sink backed up with a primordial boil
of garlic marinade and chicken slime,
and though the motor hummed it failed to grind
our slop, then roared again. “A dead man’s bounce,”
he’d said, already scrolling replacement parts.
This newer model looks identical
but whirrs with an intense suburban vigor,
shredding the rotten orange that we force
down past the rubber gasket as a test.
The smell is sick and sweet, a garish candle’s
overcompensation. It works so well
I feed it a woody avocado pit,
not wondering if it’ll fail again. It will.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 42 Number 6, on page 32
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