An Inventory of an Elaborate Pile of Garbage at 2nd Ave. and 2nd St. on June 1, 2000

Blackened tea kettle like one I have at home, couch with living man, eyes closed, his dog and runny dog shit on sidewalk. Cardboard boxes, lamp shade, the filter basket of a drip-o-later, a wooden serving tray with loose bottom. A mouse's body with eyes open and intact. Styrofoam peanuts. 2 balsa wood whiskey bottle boxes, thin wooden fruit basket. Wooden construction walls with POST NO BILLS painted gray. A piece of paper ordering the closing of the Mars Bar garden. A man setting out 4 candles, and 2 sets of wrapped paper plates. A junkie couple, white, late 30s, covered in scabs and tattoos with dog, had contructed a lean-to over the couch and slept that day. I thought about what brought them to this moment and thought "be in the moment," thought "be here now," thought "what's the worse thing that could happen?" Thought "shit happens." And began to think "today is the first day of the rest of. . ." Thought this could be the best day of their lives.

From A Handmade Museum by Brenda Coultas. Copyright © 2003 by Brenda Coultas. Published by Coffee House Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.