by Angelle Scott
A breakdown happens
and you reach into your filing cabinet
knowing you have stashed chocolate there
or perhaps chips.
You find a half-price Easter treat
and you peel the wrapper carefully
so that the candy will not fall on your office carpet
although you would probably eat it anyway
as the smell is coating your nose,
dribbling down your throat,
and teasing your stomach juices.
You raise the peanut butter egg,
pluck it from the wrapper with your lips,
and chew it one hundred times,
feeling the insides of the egg crumbling
into nuggets of saturated fat
and preservatives, coating your teeth.
After you swallow,
you feel unsatisfied,
as if the treat has stretched out the emptiness
in your belly into something much larger—
one hundred times larger—
with its smallness.
You try to suck the candy
out of the crevices in your molars.
You scrape the wrapper with your incisors
and lap up the curled shavings with your tongue,
eager to get your hundred calories’ worth.
Someone passes by your office door
and sees you with yellow paper pressed against your face;
you become quite still,
like a carrion creature wishing not to be spotted.
-refers from the word “eat” in the poem Treadmill by Melanie Faith.