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 leftovers
 
 you're 
 what's left after
 your middle busts
 and the food still sitting
 slopes and cycles
 on short hairy legs,
 it's fast and un-becoming
 while your cow belly
 bulges like apples 
 and you quietly rip one flat.
 
 i'm answering 
 my mother's prayers
 wearing your culinary 
 prescriptions taped to my aft, 
 you are really cooking now like her 
 and wearing 
 you is dressing in drag, 
 i'm not who I am, 
 my excuse is that i'm short
 and I excuse myself 
 it's your pork chops when my bloomers rip, 
 hardening armor coming full circle 
 like these coffins before and behind me,
 oh look it's a plate.
 
 you're laughing 
 and hanging mutton,
 and I think for the first time
 of bony orphans
 like sheets flapping 
 while I'm busy being 
 stuffed like hares in a crock,
 the potato skins i never eat,
 mummy ribbons coiled up,
 outlines in chalk of my body orbit 
 lengthening with each pass
 of rotten lettuce and cloudy nimbus,
 sour milk gone grand,
 superfluous trajectory
 scrape-arcing toward the can
 
 is this what Eliot meant
 by the waist, it grows
 from when I starved, you remind me
 of motel holidays spent left alone
 when i'd haul ass down the buffet,
 or the pits and skins of a Fresno orangery
 where a farmer chased me off,
 his fork was ringing 
 the citrus in my pants,
 but thievery took the juice out,
 they rotted in my cellar
 and karma is revenging
 the skinny shores of Africa.
 
 to have bitten off the batter 
 with a smile to have squeezed 
 my buttocks in a ball,
 to drag my pillows past your head,
 my shadow is houses and houses tomorrow 
 i'm passing to make rooms,
 the carrots measured out in spoons,
 we'll box them for later,
 I am passing
 I dared eat 
 a peach and though my trousers 
 and my bottoms are rolled 
 into each, i'm failing in my folds,
 the old and the mold are bold.
 
 you knotted my pants on 
 the line and soon you'll cable 
 they're throttled and ten pounds 
 of ocean when soaking,
 hemming my shoes away,
 my belly is getting there first,
 and my brown belt is doing 
 a thing all its own.
 
 hand me the overalls would you
 handling me in overalls
 I'm not fitting in this 
 fitting isn't it 
 the bottom has a flap, 
 you make my stomach just 
 fell out.
 

Copyright 1996 Scotch Wichmann, All Rights Reserved.
Published in Love and War: Eleven Poems (2003) and RealPoetik (1996).
Reprinted with permission. On the web: www.scotchwichmann.com