Steak

By MEHREEN ZAKARIA, February 23, 2022



























you use a steak knife to cut steak

that is Law.


in front of you is a steak

your favorite food.

it sits there, cold and untouched

do you wish to eat this steak?


you put the steak in the microwave

according to the instructions,

1. Cook the steak on high for 7 minutes

2. Carefully uncover, turn, and recover

3. Continue to cook on high

you stare blankly at the revolving steak

do you need to eat this steak?


beep beep beep

your 7 minutes are over

you stare blankly at the warm steak

you know you messed up step 2,

somewhere around the recover part,

but you have no choice.

after all, can you afford to eat anything but this steak?


you cut the steak.

according to 4-H Virtual Farm,

a good steak is

“juicy, tender, loaded with flavor, and has a minimum amount of fat” but as you cut your steak,

you frown

you don’t remember what a

“juicy, tender, loaded with flavor, and has a minimum amount of fat” steak even tastes like


you cut the steak.

but steak is your favorite food!

after all, when you were younger,

your parents would make you steak on your birthday

your sibling would fight you for the better steak

your dad would laugh at the sight of you two

your mom would yell that the steak’s getting cold

and you would eat your steak


why do you like steak, again?


you cut the steak.

the hairs on your skin start to rise

in your cold, untouched house

the only breath you can hear is your own

lights start to pour in from outside

flashing reds, blues

you can now hear more sounds

a gunshot here, a siren there

and you feel subtle warmth from your steak


you cut the steak.

but you don’t really want to eat it

after all, you stopped eating steak years ago—

birthdays aren’t really fun anymore when you have no one to fight with

you’d rather not know what a steak tastes like

or recall the memories that come with it

you cut the steak.

today is your 18th birthday

“happy birthday to you!

you’re 102!

you smell like a monkey

and you look like one too!”

you wish you could hear that voice again

but they’ve been 18 for 5 years already

you cut the steak.

it’s not looking too well, though

maybe you should’ve tried harder at that recover part

you drop the steak knife.

you are done

in front of you is a steak

your favorite food.

it sits there, cold and untouched

the flashing lights are gone

but a bath of red continues to grow beneath you


you use a steak knife to cut steak

that is Law.

but when you break the Law,

you pay with your life instead


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