Sunshine Liquidators

Kai Carlson-Wee

Biking through downtown Bellingham,
nothing but partyboys staggering back
to their cars in the dark, the sound
of a distant muffler, the hum of a vent
where the bakers are kneading the bread,
we stop at the Sunshine Liquidators,
opening bag after bag of garbage,
hoping for bread or chips or eggs
or cartons of soymilk, one day expired.
My brother moves quietly over his
headlamp, handing me over-ripe plantains
and mangoes, Hass avocados from San Joaquin,
spoiled and black in my hands. Maybe
there’s something to save here, he says,
passing a flat sack of carrot cake muffins,
a Styrofoam package of trout. Above us
the motion-light glosses a window,
bending our shadows against the far wall,
kinking our heads at the hard angles.