For two years I ran

in place, rolled on foam;

raised free and dumb

weights above my head.

When I drug home I ate

lean meats, salad, fruits.

As my pants size dropped,

my mind fattened; oily

thoughts of you rose to the top.

Not standing in pictures;

not speaking words to me;

it’s the new tables, chairs, even

sheets for the bed I can’t afford.

The stain on the carpeted stairs

from your lawn mower grease

still haunting the corner of my eye.

I should be done with bowls

that held your sugarless cereal.

Your closet door still whispers

shut while I jerk mine closed.

Why can’t I brush my teeth

in the right porcelain basin.

Tonight I’m going shopping

for macaroni and cheese,

cheap.  Two, sometimes three,

boxes per dollar.  Loaves

of heavy bread to smear

with peanut butter,

raspberry freezer jam.

I want fries with everything.


(Published by Open Minds Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Issue IV, Winter 2016)