by Sarah A. Foote

Vegetables go first:
carrots hiss
complaints as they succumb
to boiling water.

Bloodied tomatoes join
as she wraps her most recent casualty
in a towel cast. Carrots and fingers
are too similar.

Her practiced hands are held
responsible for breaking things:
eggshells, patterns, promises.
She splits things apart; not
slices neatly.

Takes off her ring to keep it
pristine, separate from the drudgery
of callous fingers,
slimy hands that rip out
cores, hearts.

The diamond tosses light in
her eyes, a keen beam, clean
refracted. Her pact is
that it’s the only thing in the room
she won’t clench, twist,
squash, broil, pulverize.

Knead. Instead,
she waters onions with her eyes,
purees, purifies, and bleeds.


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