Issue Forty-Four - Summer 2024

One Egg, or Two

By Elizabeth Landrum

First, not even my breakfast egg could stay.
Like anything easily shattered by a clumsy hand
it rolled    so       slowly     it seemed     motionless
as it   toppled   off    the edge    twisting     down  
down     to   the    slick   tiled     floor    
splattered    like    dead words     lost
in any tiny distraction           yellow    glue   
s  t  r  e  t  c  h  i  n  g     into the next room    
before   I could stop it.
Then,   it was the smell of it    that
lingered   on my dishtowel   and fingernails
long     after    the clean-up.

I could hardly stand to try again 
until you offered 
your cupped palm to
cradle it from the carton 
walk it across
that same hard floor
to the skillet 
where I could break it 
into the melting butter 
and remember how
I like it fried 
with a still-soft center.

(Previously published in Still Life, 2021)

Copyright 2024 Landrum