My brother bolt-cuts a hole through the mesh 

over the Family Dollar dumpster in Butte. 

I lower myself through. Dull light mumbles

from the car-emptied lot, slumping

on day-old donuts, moldy seed bread, 

a bulk bag of oats the rats have chewed through. 

I hand up the bread. I hand up the donuts. 

I hand up the tub of yogurt someone 

bought, opened, tasted, and returned. 

I go shoulder-deep through the yolk-crusted bags, 

reaching––maybe fruit, maybe meat.

After awhile you can name what you feel. 

Groping wet shapes with the tips of your fingers. 

Lifting them up to your brother.

Reprinted from The Low Passions by Anders Carlson-Wee. Copyright (c) 2019 by Anders Carlson-Wee. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Anders Carlson-Wee

Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of THE LOW PASSIONS (W.W. Norton, 2019), a New York Public Library Book Group Selection, and DYNAMITE (Bull City Press, 2015), winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Sun, New England Review, The Southern Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and many other publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writers, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of the 2017 Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and is represented by Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN