by Bob Sykora
Bob Sykora is the author of the chapbook I Was Talking About Love–You Are Talking About Geography (Nostrovia! 2016). A graduate of the UMass Boston MFA program, he teaches at community college and co-hosts The Line Break podcast. He can be found online at bobsykora.com and @Bob_Sykora_.
Crying on the Exercise Bike While Watching The Great British Bakeoff, February 2021
It is two in the afternoon and I love you.
It’s true, it’s two in the afternoon
and the entire room is blurry
with sunlight, with fresh tears.
The cake turned out poorly.
Someone is going home. The layers
crumbled. I love you
and all your layers.
I pedal faster and get nowhere.
Crumbling. Overcooked. Crying,
I don’t know why I’m crying—
You’re crying because you lost,
because you’re going home.
Because next week your baking
won’t be judged. Because the cake
was perfect when you practiced.
Because. I pedal faster. I am no
closer to you. My body is soft,
full of cake. I ride my exercise bike
because I hate my body. I watch
reality tv because I hate working out.
There’s no cake in the evening.
I love you, even when there’s no cake
after the long day. Crumbling.
Overcooked. My body is blurry
at two in the afternoon. I pedal faster.
I pedal nowhere. I don’t know why
I’m crying. Overcooked. Pedal.
Blurry body. My body was perfect
when I practiced. I pedal faster.
My cake is blurry. The sun
fills the room. The room crumbled.
There is no cake in the evening
after the long day. My body
pedals faster. The day is further
away. It’s two in the afternoon.
I don’t know why I’m crying.
You are not coming home.