Mollie McMullan

Boiling Over

On my father’s birthday, my mother

and I buy a lobster for dinner at the grocery store.

During the drive home, we name her Sheila,

coo at the way she wriggles in the plastic.

My mother tells me how awful it is every year,

boiling something while it’s still moving;

(“you don’t realize you’re boiling until it’s too late”).

We free Sheila from her bands,

saw at them with my mother’s car keys,

and toss her into the Sound.

I console my mother when Sheila is released,

telling her he’s gonna have to suck it up,

be the grown man he pretends to be.

We hold hands in the driveway,

giggle through the side door,

silence when my father appears in the kitchen.

He has the stove on, and when he looks at my mother,

I am reminded of the way a lion knows of the

tenderness of a gazelle’s flesh.

Mollie McMullan is a junior at SUNY Geneseo. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her dog around in circles and cutting up magazines for collages she’ll never complete.