We pull monsters from the trash.
Claws, teeth, the rubber foam
of alien heads and demon bodies
lying still among empty wrappers
and rotten food. Everything
just waiting to be found.
I am ten here, and my father
jabs a mop handle into the pile,
searching for glass and the looseness
of garbage, so we don’t slip or fall
too deep into it. We collect monsters,
throw them into black sacks slung
over our shoulders. From beyond
the trash, a door slams, and someone
shouts, “Fucking Mexicans, get out
of the trash.” And I am happy.
Rotten milk pools around my left
foot, and I forget about this werewolf
as it drops from my hands,
these hands that are white,
not like my mother’s, not like
my stepfather’s, as he lifts me up,
and we run to the car,
pieces of Hollywood
over our shoulders.