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Apple

the smell of garbage

might as well

start with that


pineapples

and cat-shit

somehow stewed


into a mix of feelings

sweet and sour

right before dawn


these were posh

houses

to me


at 8 or 9

and my dad

driving the truck


his brother owned

the whole damn

company


garbage pickup

in the

tri-state area


entrepreneurial

that guy

and dad


well

not so

much


picking up

work from his brother

on the weekend


another paycheck

he'd lose to

whatever


you're supposed

to lose it

to


and me his kid

kind of not

the kid he wanted


and here we

are 5 am

in this posh neighborhood


split

level gorgeousness

like yachts


where people don't

even have to take

their trashcans to the curb


extra

special

service


dad would back in

and then get out of

the cab of the dumptruck


go up beside some

mansion and

grab the cans 2 at a time


toss all of it

into the back real loud like louder than loud

and i'd do what i could


and then it was

all very quiet

for a second as he lit his cigarette

and then he'd

work the compactor

the truck's back jaw swallowing


all the rich people's

crap

he'd let me run it sometimes


gears vibrating

a

beautiful hatred into my hands


me wondering when he'd

let us take

a break


father and son sort of i guess

and after

he'd give me


5 dollars

at the garage

his brother's


asphalt lot

with a hundred shiny dump

trucks


brand new garage

and office

out in the country


next to an

apple orchard

the biggest


reddest apples

hanging off tree limbs

and 5 dollars in my hand


that taste

of an apple like that

unlike anything else


sort of a magical

honey crunch

my teeth finding


a secret and

dad very quiet

all the way home



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