Garbage and Gloves

The stench was palpable.
The power was still on
but somehow her fridge had stopped cooling
so, after a month of inattention,
her fully packed ice box was no longer icy
and all its contents was rotting away.

There were bugs
there were maggots
and of course
the aforementioned smell
which had hung
in the abandoned room.

There was nothing to be salvaged
in the space
though it was one of the few remaining locations
in the apartment
where life still abided.
We collected garbage bags and gloves
and pins for our noses
and quick as possible
emptied the freezer of its evil goods
and left the decay on the snowy street
for others to worry about.

The smell did not disappear right away.
It would waft.
It would linger.
Eventually, like memory,
it would pass.

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