Cheezie poetry




Cheezies—an Ode

Oh Cheezie, my childhood love
As orange as Beeker the Muppet
you have matured into an adult passion
you make persimmons and bell peppers pale
under the fluorescent flicker of grocery store light

Your inventors, W.T. Hawkins and some other guy,
geniuses without a Nobel Prize
There is no other cheezie, daringly spelt with a “Z,”
Cheetos, will not satisfy

Oh Cheezies, you peek from behind a curtain of stripes,
I get a glimpse of you inside the smooth cellophane bag
My fingers trace your edges, imperfect, unique
You reach back, speckles of seasoning cling to the inside of the bag
It’s been months since I last devoured you,
I struggle to remember the exact sensation
of salt and corn meal stuck to my teeth
I know only my longing

I take you home

You’re bad for me, I know
hydrogenated vegetable oil, disodium phosphate—whatever that is,
I ignore your faults
As you call to me like a forbidden lover
From behind the cabinet doors

A pomegranate beckons
its seeds shiny red beads
But I choose you
Take you to the couch, clutch the ridged package top and pull
Reach my hand in, without the limitations of a bowl,
My fingers caress you
Before I lift you to my lips
Again and

Until finally, I wrap you lovingly in the packet
Place you gently back into the cupboard
Half gone

I know you’re there
calling me
I try to stay busy
flip open a book, an orange fingerprint on the page
evidence of our last meeting
and I recall licking my fingers
dabbing the corners of the bag
grains of processed-aged-cheddar-cheese seasoning lingering
all that was left of you

Cheezies—a Lament

A banana peel in my hand
I open the door to the garbage and compost bag
drop it in
Then spot the striped cellophane
A reminder of you
And our recent rendezvous
I am shamed by my abandon
As I recall the frenzied crunching
in the glow of the TV screen
blinds drawn
you and me on the couch

And you are gone
270 calories per three-quarters of a cup
My hunger for you is never measured
But the numbers haunt me
30% of my daily-recommended saturated fat intake
18% sodium
A measly 2% calcium, and iron
My longing reignites

Willing to go out into the cold night
Walk the grocery store aisles to find you
I check my wallet for $5
I find a loonie and two dimes
pull up the couch cushions
Jam my hands into coat pockets
Turn open purses upside down
And shake

Between the couch cushions
I find orange crumbs
That is all
I gather them in my hands
Toss them
in the garbage
on top of the banana peel
slam the door
and stare, empty, into the lonely blue
hue of the TV screen