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
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
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).