Self-Actualization #1

Daily drive-thru, snacks of Cheetos,
chocolate, and any ice cream, churn
out a pint of heartburn to go
with sides of fried tongue,
throat, and inner linings, extra spicy,
with cheese, and for dessert delicious
ticking time pastries: accumulated

            deposit wrapped organs
         desert-baked. Skin summer
hot in winter, night sweat boiled
in chest pools, holes spot-weld
in plantar fasciitis, pointing
fingers dried, knees and hips
hissing snap, crackle, or stop,
all by globular warming.

Ideal wait? Lifestyle changes

             after finishing
a bag without

body shaming.

#NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 15


It’s really appalling what I ate today and how much of it I ate.

And yet I don’t want to descend into depression, body shaming, or generalizations about overweight or obese people. A clinical appraisal of my own health and habits, yes. A set of steps I should take tomorrow, when my quotidian cycles begin again and while my hebdomadal cycles reach their brief Sunday end. Longer-term goals that lead eventually to overall good health. But not a focus on physical appearance, a focus so frequently distorted and imagined by bully eyes. The road to health is bound on one side by nutrition and exercise and on the other by love for self.

I preceded this poem with a bulleted list of categorized goals I would like to reach for purposes of self-actualization. This poem covers just part of the “Daily Healthy Habits and Disease Prevention” category, thus leading to the title of the poem. It’s a suggestion that there might be future installments that tackle the other categories and goals I listed for myself.

Or I die tonight of a sugar-and-salt induced heart attack.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.