When I eat eggs, I think of the heads of chickens
that my mother cut off as a child.
I wonder if they haunt her
and she wakes with their blood on her cheeks.
If they circle her, their necks spurting chaos.
If she thought fun was bursting a pig’s stomach
just to see what leaked out.
How long can you see slaughter
without thinking you’re next?
How many times can your mother
tell you the story of a child
trapped inside a flour sack
and tossed into the river
before you start searching for matches
to burn holes in bags?
My mother thinks love is a cow
hanging by a rope, hemorrhaging.
Love is enough chicken-feet soup
to serve as leftovers until Mass on Sundays.
Love is a bible verse she will learn to believe in.
She is so tired of taking care of love.
Now, she sleeps and dreams
of someone else picking apples
off the trees for her. Someone else
kneading the lattice for the pies.
They can’t hurt you here,
I want to tell her. But I only
throw up my eggs when she asks
if I am finished with my plate.
Samantha Fain is an undergraduate student studying creative writing at Franklin College. Her work has appeared in The Indianapolis Review, SWWIM, Dirty Paws Poetry, Utterance, and others. She tweets at @samcanliftacar.