Bachelor Afternoon

Bachelor Afternoon

With his gut spilling over his abdomen,
he stands almost like a hamburger—

almost flat on the kitchen tile,
and as wide as his kitchen island. Eggs,

sunny side up, over a pound of sausage
have their yolks slit on his plate.

His pot-bellied pit bull gobbles
the slop as soon as it smacks the floor.

Finished, he pulls his plain T-shirt
fold by fold over his belly rolls, then smears

the grease across his pimpled lips.
From a pack of smokes, his potato spud

fingers pluck a battled cigarette;
he spits his chew and bites the filter,

lights it and fits sideways out the door.
His feet depress the concrete.

People step aside, as if a tank—
its cannon still smoking from the blast,

its steel momentum like Fate—
were crushing the streets of Auschwitz,

but he’s just fetching his mail
on an otherwise easy afternoon.

by Ryan Dowling

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