After Starlight

Garbage. Lines the streets.
Without cheering. No clowns.
Without lipstick. No crowds.
Police siren. Empty
streets. After starlight
parade. It is all

I will do, briskly thank
one street cleaner with
his special trash bag
for food cartons and cans.
Little bits of napkins
shred up block after block,
where I hastily tread,
my feet kicking up rock,

where a quarter million laughs
left off miles of trash.

Dead of night. Three
joined leaves smashed
to sidewalk, still
green. And one white dead
balloon, rubber stressed
with black stains
on a thin purple ribbon
from starlight parade.

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