It’s close enough to haunt me —
organ music of the one morning train
over the marshes, crisscrossing Route 6A, then the rumbling bass,
heading North with the detritus of the Cape.
I mean that literally — trash train —
going to glom our garbage into the mainland somewhere.
Just listening is my way of riding the coattails of society
without the press and peril of the crowd
or its turbulent consequences. I feel called to —
like hearing the last mastodon on its lonely trail
toward the Canadian tundra, the melting ice,
needing to tell some other unknown, outmoded creature,
about departure,
needing to leave a last sad word.

I wish we were skillful at telling the difference
between what is vanished and what we bury,
what will come back with a sting, and what must be mourned.
Grief is the tutor we fire before we learn.
This is my trash talk. Another northbound ton
heading for greener pastures hoping for clay
to seal its phosphorous and nitrogen runoff
under a grassy tumulus in a town poor enough to accommodate
our plastic slag, our elephantine ash and bones.

I’ve forgotten who I was
before consuming and being consumed.
Cape marshes contemplative, clean and tidal, call me back;
my eyes receiving and letting go,
receiving and releasing, tranquilly,
not needing to re-collect pocketed six-pack rings
and nylon string as votives of every stroll along the shore,
carried home to be fed to the great green hungry bin.
Requiem chord, sound out once more to us
this side of the canal, though we likely won’t remember
what we should mourn.