you slice onions in the kitchen
shoulder up against another girl’s
you laugh through wet eyes
when i enter the room, you turn
and fill me in.
the knife glides through the papery shell
claps off the cutting board
lifts, squirts down again, breaks apart the vegetable.
my eyes are dry
my laugh contained
my shoulders lonely
i watch her watch you and i watch you watch me
“pass me the potatoes”
“sure,” i say. when i turn to get them
she slips a word into your ear
a word i’ll never hear
but you bite your lip and bow your
crazy little brown-haired head
your ears flare red.
i tumble the potatoes across the cutting board
say something i think sounds funny
she doesn’t crack a smile
you fake a laugh
when i sigh and leave the room
hoping you’ll watch me go, like always
your eyes are on her hands
your knife cuts again
your shoulders graze hers
Beth McCallum is a Scottish writer, book blogger and candle maker. She is currently seeking representation for her debut novel, a sci-fi dystopian thriller. In her free time, she drinks tea, walks her dog and competitively plays board games.