» Poetry

Garbage Day

Out the window a squirrel’s noshing on a quesadilla,

paws clasped around a tortilla shard as if mid-prayer


its prayers were answered. I’m making dinner again:

salmon filets like flagstones made from moon,


a cube of butter in the skillet spreading its skirts

while on the cutting board an onion heretics the air.


The truth is sometimes I call your name because I need you

to come look at this, look at how alive I am,


and sometimes how alive I am can only be seen
by what’s happening around me: two people cheering


for a dumpster-diving tree rat, one’s hair

waterfalling onto the other’s shoulder, joy


like a school of minnows swimming overhead—

another glorious day where we have nothing to bury


besides our appetites. Listen:
the dishes in the sink aren’t going to elope


tonight. Let’s admire the sky’s tablecloth,

its chorus of spilled salt. Let’s clasp


our bodies like two hands praying

and crisp the edges of grace.



Todd Dillard

Todd Dillard's work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Sixth Finch, The Adroit Journal, Fairy Tale Review, Electric Literature, and Hobart. His debut collection of poetry, Ways We Vanish, is available from Okay Donkey Press (2020). He is a Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine, and he lives in Philadelphia with his wife and daughter.