by Melanie Faith

I’m on the treadmill
paging through a fashion magazine
as the buttons go beep-beep. I’m
thinking about pizza for lunch,
tacos on the way home, gooey
cookies for dessert. Each model has hips
like boys’, like pre-pubescent boys’,
hips I’ll never have. And do I want
leftover mac and cheese? A drive-thru
delicacy all greasy? A grilled cheese
with ham, a thin prosciutto sliver
embedded deep in the bread? Beep-beep. The knife
slathering the pan with butter, not margarine–
the real deal. I’m on the treadmill,
they look so hungry. Not just
their eyes but their cheeks sunken,
their lips pouty. Does that one
inject collagen? I bet she’d like a grilled
cheese, I bet she’d lick the fallen crumbs
from her pointy chin. I bet
she’d claim “I eat nothing but rubbish, I eat
like this every day,” then run ten miles after,
then stick her manicured finger down her throat
for hips like boys’. The knife
slathering the pan, beep-beep
so hungry, fashion magazine, I’ll never have

-refers from the word treadmill in Justin Hamm’s poem Small Town

  1. I like the sense of urgency and confusion between the treadmill beep-beep, the perceived microwave beep-beep, and, for those old enough to remember, the roadrunner (chased by coyote) beep-beep. Who is the coyote? Who is the road-runner? My water is on the girl on the treadmill!

  2. I meant “wager” (not water). hehe

  3. Wow, Melanie. You captured so much in this and I love it all!

  4. I’m quite late on the uptake, Scot and Debbie, but thank you both so much! 🙂 Wishing you both well.

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