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Cleaning Up After the Dog


Jason Tandon

Pull plastic bag from pocket

and wave it like a flag

or diploma. Make sure many people

congratulate your care

for the community.

Check bag for holes.


Inspect stool for odd hues.

Greens, blues, blood.

Evaluate consistency.

You don’t want to leave smears

on the sidewalk or grass—no prints.

Getaway must be clean.

Prepare to go in for all of it.

Hold breath.

Grab, clamp, reverse bag, twist, knot, cinch.

Smell hands.

Hold loaded bag high in the air,

assure onlookers that Everything is Okay.

If a cop should cruise by,

his crew cut bristling

in the sun,

hold that bag higher,

so he, too, can salute

your contribution.

The bomb defused,

the world a little safer, a little cleaner,

will not offend the deep treads

of someone else’s shoes.

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Issue 21


September 22, 2017

Jason Tandon is the author of three collections of poetry including, Quality of Life (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) and Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt (Black Lawrence Press, 2009), winner of the 2006 St. Lawrence Book Award. His website is:

i dont feel like fininishing this website right now and i am sorry

Then the fear of pain

would simply make everyone

terribly lonely.

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Issue 21

This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the archives.
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