the cafe, warm and identical. the doughnuts. sometimes just one,
more often there are three placed in a cardboard cake box,
the lid with a clear panel so everyone can see what’s inside.
when that happens, i eat them all and they delight in my
lack of self control, tease me for my inability to share with others.
each morning i try to judge the mood of the men based on
the number of doughnuts i am presented with, and wonder
on single doughnut days whether i have done something wrong,
whether my response to the previous days’ doughnuts was inadequate.
but mostly i just eat the doughnuts, rubbing the sticky pads
of my fingertips against my lips, brushing sugar off my thighs.
i've left it too late to contemplate refusing the doughnuts,
because what if i say no thank you and that's it?
the doughnuts will stop coming and i will have to buy my
own lunch, which is expensive. easier to eat the doughnuts
and be grateful, even on days i don't feel like it; on mornings
when the thought of eating doughnuts makes me nauseous.
on those days i still accept their paper napkins with enthusiasm
as they wait expectantly for my teeth to pierce the glaze
wanting to hear that i enjoyed it, watching me swallow the fat
and potassium happily, reading my calorific intake back to me
like a phone number as i feel the hard welt of the doughnut
bruising my stomach, lodged deep in my gut like an ulcer.
are you ready for your doughnut, they say, and i laugh.my diet starts tomorrow, i say, and they laugh.