Ruby’s Chicken Nuggets

Lisa Low

Wearing an iguana on her

shoulder Melissa’s mother pulls

three trays of nuggets from

the oven onto the marble

counter. Ruby has never eaten

them without her mother

making her peel the skin off

first, the breading broken down

and thrown into the trash,

the meat like khaki-colored

Play-Doh. No one stops Melissa

eating straight off the tray

so Ruby does too: the crunchy

skin, the sweet grease fill her

mouth hotly like her dreams

of a boy’s tongue. Between

bites Melissa braids Ruby’s hair

with embroidery floss, crumbs

like glitter in her hair. If she could,

Ruby would lay her head down

on the cool marble of the island

forever. After shaking hands

with the iguana, after spinning

the revolving CD tower, Ruby feels

clouds swirl in her eyeballs

like flakes of cooked egg in soup.

 

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