Comfort Food, Soul Food, Brain Food

Sugar sandwiched

between the slices

of my soul.

My heart

is jarred and pickled

in a good, dark french roast.


I used to joke

that I ran on caffeine,

and sugar,

and I did not mean


I meant

my soul.



My soul ran

on the steaming mugs

of my gas station cappuccino,

on the sound of the oven


on the slumber party packages

of Swedish fish and scotcheroos and

Snickers bars.

It would run

on the swirl

of almond milk

in my mug,

on the semi-sweet chocolate chips

in Mom’s baking cupboard.



My soul ran on it all.

Then, for awhile,

and even now,

I felt and feel



The waist on my pants

not loose enough

as I felt for my hip bones

while lunging and sit-up-ing and

elliptical-ing, age 10.

Thighs and stomach

not slender enough, age 15.

Hips too soft,

why be


when you could be


Why have

young love

when you could have

a boyfriend, his friends,

in the halls

call you fat (“cottagey”)?



It took awhile

for the shame

to leave;

it still visits most days,

when my soul craves

its soul food.

And so it has become

less fuel

and more an exercise

in indulgence,

which is to say

an exercise

in living. 

Living a life

that’s full to the brim,

rather than just living on

the dregs

of bare survival.



When life

has become uncertain,



some will go for a jog,

order takeout Chinese food,

re-open their favorite novel,

or grab their paints,

call their mother,

make a mug

of hot cocoa,

or a pitcher

of molar-dissolving

sweet tea.



My soul

will ask for

a slice of cake,

then a cup of coffee,

and I will oblige,

let my pain run

on the caffeine

and on the sugar

that my happiness

used to.

by kicim23

Writer, doodler, baker, optimist, listener, walk-taker. Always learning. Author of a bilingual children's book, The Lights in the Night / Las luces en la noche


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