Calories (A Poem)

Calories

A curse word.

The word. 

Flung so carelessly about, precariously perched atop their tongues, 

Ready to pounce on you unsuspectingly, to sink its controlling teeth into your veins, 

Filling your joyous bloodstream with silencing darkness.


“Come on, ladies, work it! Pump those arms!” 

You sweat, water trailing down your temple,

You feel strong, you feel warm, you feel powerful,

You are grateful for your body and everything it does.

And then

“Just a little more! We’ve gotta work off the calories from that whipped cream!”

Your arms drop. 

Your veins fill with darkness,

The exercise is no longer fun; it is work, 

Tireless, unabating control.


“OMG, you guys should try this new snack!”

You happily take a piece,

Your chest inflates with immeasurable pride-

You are flexible with yourself,

You are spontaneous,

You feel the fear, but do it anyway. 

And then

“They’re only 45 calories!” 

Your glance falls to the floor.

The stone-cold darkness prevails once more.

… “Oh, and they’re also fat-free.”

Another biting sting,

A merciless punch to the gut.


“Guys, look at that stir-fry bowl. It looks good!”

You fill with hope, 

Hope that someone is free from the disordered grasps of rigidity,

Hope that they will not say the word.

And then

“Woah, it’s 800 calories! What the hell, that’s almost half the amount you should consume in a day.”

It was false hope.

You can’t take it anymore,

Lead pulses through your veins,

Weighing them down,

Down,

Freezing them.

A thin sheet of ice covers your skin.


Your lungs suffer.

The air is completely pushed out,

Not a single drop remaining.

Your happy balloon is popped,

Popped with a single word. 

The word. 

Calories

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