Virginia Laurie

The last good egg

The Breakthrough by Danielle Sung

You want comfort more than honesty, so I comply.
I add three sugars. I pass the bread, nodding the whole time or
humming till I’m ruby-throated with it,
cheeks bloated by the half smiles and thin lips.

My answers are vague, made out of primary colors,
plastic and easy-to-wash. You set them down next to you,
a meek gift, a bouquet of cobwebs on the forgotten kitchen
altar. There are holes in the wall you don’t talk about.

Every now and then, I think you must have caught the edges
of the artifice, the bits of peeling tape at the edge of poster,
or else the rainbow of light gone through it in midday sun.
Sometimes the wooden hollows or painted lips of our masks overlap.

Sometimes, more often than I’d like to think about, your words
hit me, flung too quickly or honey trapping a fly in all its sweet,
something too heavy to stand up in or leave behind. I’m on the edge,
I need you to ask me not to leave you behind.

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