I Thought of an Egg


By Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad

I thought of an egg,
boiled soft on the stove,
gluey yolk inside
still too hot
to peel in a palm

A plum with its fine
skin dark, 
ripped to show
something more
bruised within

A puffball mushroom
swelling out of the
earth like
an eyeball pushed
out of its socket

A grape tomato
crushed to spill
red flesh like
broken, smashed
blood vessels

What else did
I think of when I saw
the face of the beaten
teenager outside
the Brooklyn mosque

Why his eye
and not his mouth
if you wanted
to punch the prayers
out of his voice

I thought of a walnut,
and how in order
to break its shell with
nothing but bare hands, 
you must be a kind of animal


Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad’s poetry has appeared in The Missing Slate, Passages North, HEArt Online, Chiron Review, and is forthcoming in Natural Bridge, Painted Bride Quarterly, and The Pinch. She is a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. She currently lives in New York and practices matrimonial law.