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by Jeff Burt


I eat scraps, second-hand half-sandwiches,

cole slaw missing a single fork-dab,

trials of fruit and charred asparagus,

the slink, skunk, chunk,

and burned hunks of meat.

When someone's eyes have grown bigger

than his stomach,

that's when my plate opens like a landfill.

I am the relative who allows the spoon of your mother

to enter his mouth, the poison tester for the king.

While others wait for pie or cake,

I lick their plate.