__________by Zahara

I have learned to check your garbage.
To sift through what you
discard as trash.
Gingerly lifting the lid
pierced by the odors,
recognizing my own scent.
Carefully I pick among
the torn wrappers
and scoop up
the spilled contents.
Gathering the remnants
of my soul
which you found
With ungloved hands
I plunge deep within
the rotted peelings
left too long in the
heat, where you casually
tossed my defenses.
Bent at the waist
elbow deep in the
mire you created
with the shavings
of my conscience,
the fungus forming over
and chocking my ego
and finally reach the
shriveled emaciated
plug of tissue I once
called my heart.
Rising from the barrel
outside your back door
I gather myself
and walk away.

Copyright © 2004. Used by permission of author. All Rights Reserved.

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