I try to remember why
I must not eat the warm muffin
in front of me (the preacher-
doctor’s rules, the wellness
articles saved), try to decode
its suspicious calorie count,
the sugar hit. I interrogate the coy
barista, Is the flour processed or
The sweet mound lures me with its
apple caramel perfume, its moist
glow. My stomach growls and sneers
at such puritan sublimation, this
pinched self-love unwilling
to forgive a timid nibble.
Before I plunge like a falling junkie
and take the fatal first bite,
I righteously remind myself
of the bad aftertaste from past
chunky muffins and their ilk.
And so I order a smug plain decaf
in a pristine paper cup to-go
and proudly stride ten brisk blocks home.
– Jean Biegun