Illustration by My Linh

Reasons to Skip Breakfast by Laryssa Wirstiuk

Illustration by My Linh
Illustration by My Linh

Fasting can be spiritual. I like pain
when its source is identifiable.
I need time to process the advanced
shock of being awake. I’ve already
eaten too much in my dreams
(marble rye, oven-blistered pizza,
cinnamon toast). I don’t want to hear
milk. I don’t like the sound of people
sitting at a dining table not speaking.
I don’t like the pressure of competing
before I’ve applied red lipstick.
I don’t want to be asked why I add
zucchini or to cringe when the blender
whirs. I want to feel empty. I avoid
washing dishes. I can’t wait for coffee.
Scrambled eggs at times inspire regret.
Oatmeal, on the other hand, doesn’t
have a scent. It’s true I want everything
bagels, but the secret’s in the water.
I don’t have time. I will be late.
I crave bananas later in the day.
Pancakes for dinner are a novelty
and so are pancakes in bed. Syrup
is too sticky. I can’t open a cereal box
without finishing it. I’m not seeking
a prize inside. I don’t believe in breakfast
of champions. Winners don’t get a break.

About the author


“I was inspired to write this poem by my realization that I don’t like speaking to anyone, not even my loved ones, first thing in the morning, and that I’d rather skip breakfast than eat my first meal of the day in the presence of another person.”

Laryssa Wirstiuk is a poet and writer based in Los Angeles, CA, where she lives with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. Her writing has been published in Word Riot, Gargoyle Magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other venues. You can view her portfolio here:

About the Illustrator


My Linh is a 19-year-old girl who lives quietly, loves reading and is always seeking for pleasure in every little thing. She mostly takes pictures of coffee, which provides her a sense of relaxation, and every beautiful scene that she catches when she’s traveling. You can follow her on Instagram.

Reasons to Skip Breakfast is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the second edition of the literary collection The Machinery. To submit for The Machinery-Second edition, you can go here.

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3 thoughts on “Reasons to Skip Breakfast by Laryssa Wirstiuk

  1. “. . . sound of people
    sitting at a dining table not speaking.”

    And especially this:

    “Scrambled eggs at times inspire regret.”

    Sometimes it’s all in what is not said. Brilliant!


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