You shuck each apple into pieces
with a paring knife, click your tongue
at the oven slow to heat.
Out the window, the sun burns itself
back into the white sky
like a halo of butter wash on crust.
You smack each egg shell with a snapping crack
on the clear glass of mixing bowl,
spool the cinnamon and yolk sweet and whole.
You cup the next egg in your hands,
down toward me like a delicate desert-drink,
an unsprung plush of tulip.
If you push in at an egg from all sides,
the shell sits resistant in its shallow brightness.
That’s why we make it personal, why we hit
in one dictated spit of quick movement forward,
why we halve it in a stiff pinch, and spill.
Kara Goughnour is a queer writer and documentarian living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from The University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and has work published or forthcoming in Third Point Press, The Southampton Review, and over twenty others. Follow her on Twitter @kara_goughnour or read her collected and exclusive works at karagoughnour.com.
Art: Study in movement + color, digital illustration, 2019
Artist Statement: I was struck by the verbs in this poem — shuck, click, burn, smack, push, spill, to name a few—and wanted to pair it with a piece that captured that movement, that everyday violence.