300 Pounds, Waist Size 44

When I take out the trash,
I do it with the tenderness
of the bomb squad.

Arms thrust forward,
the straining overstuffed garbage bag
swings from my fingers
on red straps
that cut into my flesh.

Every step to the dumpster is
to ensure that none of the bag’s contents
contaminate me.

I move with the slow grace of a man
strolling through a minefield.
I will not misstep.
Nothing will touch me:
I stand apart from my waste.

When I walk out the door,
without a bag of trash,
I still carry my body
the same way:
At a distance.

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