by Megan Collins
The eggshell shatters, exposing the smooth, white belly,
its pieces still clinging to the glistening skin.
Standing at the sink, I scrape the shell with my nails,
but the body comes, too. Soon, the egg’s yellow heart
is under my fingers, the meal I imagined now broken carrion.
You know what the egg needs—what time, what temperature,
which pressure points. Reading on the couch, you hear
the faucet swish on, the garbage disposal gurgle.
You know where I need to put my palms, now embedded
with shards of shell, but you turn the page of your book—
never telling—and I keep at it because I won’t ask.
Alone Outside the Glass House
Our final days live inside me like the sea,
which lingers on the sand, clinging
to shell and rock before it drags itself away.
The glass house, with its ragged red dock,
is an orphan now. Like a guilty mother,
I can’t bring myself to face it.
In the city just beyond the water, the windows
of apartments interfere with the darkness.
Somebody, in all those places, keeps turning on a light.
During our last minutes in the glass house,
you said that the rooms would become ghosts.
I think now that even a ghost is a place I’d like to get to.
Remember how easily we were stalled by the stars.
The view from our walls on nights like this
was of tiny white fists clutching the sky.
Remember, remember: the scar on my hip,
which you called delicate, the loose board in the dock,
the eighth of every month.
Well—no matter. Our final days were spent
in the last of the September light.
Love was a child we could no longer lift.