We hear different
things. She hears that
powerful engine, screech

of the lifting arm, squeal
of the brakes, and I suspect
she ponders that quarterback

she dated in high school
as she rises, not too quickly,
to gaze out the window.

I forgot to turn
our bin arrows out,
placed said bin too close

to the trees, an impediment
for those giant forked arms.
The trash man must step down

into the street, break his rhythm.
He grabs the green bin, swings
it like an overweight

partner that can’t dance,
—our weekly household load—
into that gaping mouth

that grinds and chews
and flips the mess into its
metal belly. I can hear him

swearing as he rolls the empty
bin away from the maple trees.
He shakes his head, throws

a disparaging look toward
the house until he sees her
peek out the window.

She loosens her barrettes,
lets her hair flow
past the sill,

down the new gray siding,
like a curled invitation,
a ladder of perfumed love,

and I hear his smudged
sigh swallowed by his county
engine, feel the vibrations

shake our locked windows.