Terry Lucas


I am wheeling the recycling bin
down the driveway, the steep
pot-holed driveway, eighteen percent
grade, making it impossible
for trucks to negotiate
up through freighted foliage to our house.
I am thinking about the plastic Arrowhead
water bottles, the broken down
cardboard boxes, the Ball Mason jars
with a faint grape odor
I am sending out into the world
after having consumed their contents—
I am wondering where they will go,
if I will see them again, and if I would
recognize them in an altered form
or universe.
		    I am wondering about the day
the wood pulp in the cardboard was conceived
from a single photon of sunlight striking
one green leaf of perhaps the great-
great-grandmother of this eucalyptus tree
or that balsam fir. And I am amazed at the thought
of breathing in molecules of air,
exhaled from plants, as well as from people
dead for years: Darwin, Shakespeare,
Whitman, Crane swirling in my lungs—
their embered words, unreadable
heat signatures, along with the last breath
sucked from the chest of some rapist
on death row, a thief
hanging on a cross by nails
fashioned from iron smelted in a star 
gone nova over five billion years ago—
the same metal hammering through my veins,
feverishly trying to get more
oxygen to my legs, as I walk
back up the crumbling asphalt,
loose gravel anting toward the ocean—mother
ocean stretching up as tall as she can with every wave
for a glimpse of her prodigal children returning home.