Beth McCallum


you slice onions in the kitchen

shoulder up against another girl’s

you laugh through wet eyes

when i enter the room, you turn

and fill me in.

the knife glides through the papery shell

claps off the cutting board

lifts, squirts down again, breaks apart the vegetable.

my eyes are dry

my laugh contained

my shoulders lonely

i watch her watch you and i watch you watch me

“pass me the potatoes”

“sure,” i say. when i turn to get them

she slips a word into your ear

a word i’ll never hear

but you bite your lip and bow your

crazy little brown-haired head

your ears flare red.

i tumble the potatoes across the cutting board

say something i think sounds funny

she doesn’t crack a smile

you fake a laugh

when i sigh and leave the room

hoping you’ll watch me go, like always

you don’t.

your eyes are on her hands

your knife cuts again

your shoulders graze hers


Beth McCallum is a Scottish writer, book blogger and candle maker. She is currently seeking representation for her debut novel, a sci-fi dystopian thriller. In her free time, she drinks tea, walks her dog and competitively plays board games.