Sheila Squillante


Eggs for forgetting you could still break like that.

                            Like this.

Eggs when you’ve broken someone else.

Cracked open.
Eggs over cold rice in a hot skillet. The popping sound everyone makes.

Stirred and stirring.
Eggs broken and filled.

                            Rice, vice.

Eggs before poems and after you swear them off.

Egg as absolute. Egg as always.

Eggs inside. Swallowed whole or knocking hello on the walls of please no more.

What can this egg do? This one and this one?
Inside earthenware. Nesting like crows
inside the hollow of your hollow of your hollow.

Cracked and salted and swirled there.


Eggs when you think you could do better. Could have done better.

When you think you could still write a poem as glossy rich
and filling as yolk over rice. Deep blue bowl
to keep the heat. Wrap your hands around it.

Eggs for when you want to burn yourself.
What egg?
What is an egg?

Egg as infection or invasion. Smooth and hard. Cold and unswallowable.


In the pan, oil sizzles or water boils or water simmers
and you slide yourself in.

Feel yourself. Congeal. Stiffen against
this sadness, your center which wants to run

                            loose and away.

Eggs that hang together, stay
in the soup, as they say.

Ribbons of egg, threaded through
noodles or over rice, billowing
in broth, tongue- kissed with ginger.

              I will feed it to you, sweetheart
              spoon by too-hot spoon–




–after Barbara Guest

Tree-bare, rushing. Succulent
pairs holding close
to the street.

Wheels both locked and in motion.
Watch the girl haul cardboard boxes
past the picture window, her lips
brush paper,her tongue honeycombs.

A simultaneity of season.

The kind hand extends, feeds
such anticipation. Today
everything is borrowed.

And it follows you everywhere.




White cotton squares threaded with color and light.
Soft wood rolling between fingers.
Three breeze-blown blessings.

The promise of cows in a deep green field.
A black rat snake swallowing on dark gravel.
The muscle of anticipation.

The shifting of public language on highway signs.
That there is such a thing as a public language.
Threshold and gesture; white and field-green.

The use of second person.
The use of myth to create emotional distance.
A frame.

The juxtaposition of voices, of people
talking over each other.
An approximation. A stand-in.

Singing in a low key in the car, the proper range for this voice.
The skin’s disintegration at night.
The sound of a train out of sight.

How easy it is to forget time zones,
how hard it is
to suppress yearning.

The way green plastic beads shimmer
in the sun, creating the shape,
the animal suggestion among us.

Sheila Squillante is a poet and essayist living in central Pennsylvania. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry: A Woman Traces the Shoreline (Dancing Girl Press, 2011), Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Another Beginning (Kattywompus Press, forthcoming, 2013), and In This Dream of My Father (Seven Kitchens Press, forthcoming, 2013). Her memoir, Dead Dad Day: A Memoir of Food and My Father, is currently seeking a publisher.