Billie R. Tadros



You pour the sauce into glass

bowls beside the summer colors of your salad


take your routine three bites, touch

your tongue to the fork

tip and nod, it’s perfect—


smooth, viscous—find that the stove needs

tending until I have finished


eating, insist


that you have had enough.


You separate the rest of the yellows

and whites and I do not say anything.


I take larger forkfuls, make a spectacle

of my appetite as if this will make you




The flavor is metallic and lemon

sour and smells of consequence—


I am starting to know—


not when you disappear after dinner

but when you clap out your rug, reorganize

your pens (retract), when you recoil

at my fingers above your hips (retract)


when you try to explain that it’s not about

size, that it’s not about weight, that you feel


cluttered. This is what it looks like:


the fresh yolk of an egg, bright

yellow and semisolid, the illusion


of containment in cupped hands


but while you’re sending it between palms, interlaced

sieve fingers trying to make something out of a center


what’s left falls silently between the spaces

and pools on the countertop.


These are remnants.


What I mean to suggest


is that we sift ourselves

to nothing.


Billie R. Tadros’s work has appeared, or will appear, in The Boiler, Bone Bouquet, The Collapsar, Gigantic Sequins, Horse Less Review, Kindred, Menacing Hedge, Tupelo Quarterly, Wicked Alice, Word Riot, and others, and in the anthologies Bearers of Distance (Eastern Point Press, 2013), Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013), and The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014).

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