The kitchen reeks of stale arguments
and bacon. She glances up, horrified,
rasher dangling like a sock between her fingers
as I show up, half-chewed
in my father’s oversize fleece.
Between us, all you can hear
is the sound of a butter-knife scraping.
Oiled fingers. Burnt toast. She offers,
eggs me on to eat. I say, calmly,
no thank you, it’s burnt
as she stands, arms crossed, watching me
shred cucumber into fifty wet pieces,
slide tomatoes around my plate,
how I have trembled all night
like a mole in the dark, dug up
my ribs, my pelvic bone, squeezed
the soft bits like clay.
There, I say, and glare at her,
waving my bare fork as evidence.
Swallow a cold frill of lettuce.