PAULA PERSOLEO

★ ★ ★ ★

POETRY

Tiny Portions

I’m always a sucker for those videos
with big hands using tiny forks
and knives to slice then mince
just the top of a pearl onion to fry
in a tiny pot over candle-heat before
cooking a pinch of raw beef for who
knows how long because surely candles
take longer to heat a cooking surface
than gas or electric on a regular-sized stove
or even a wood-burner, but somehow
the candle works because oil bubbles
and meat browns and charred stains
in the tiny pan show how often it’s been used
to make these tiny burgers—and who
has premade buns, sesame seeds
and all, smaller than a fingernail
and who makes these tiny forks and knives
and who eats this tiny food anyway
because I’m pretty sure this isn’t what
my nutritionist means by “tiny portions”
(although you never know, she might)
and who has the patience to slice, mince,
and fry this tiny meal and why bother
torture me with the beauty of this tiny feast
that only makes me want what I can’t have?

Paula Persoleo is a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Some of the poets she worked with include Julie Sheehan, Thomas Lux, and Michelle Whittaker. Her recent work has been accepted by Gordon Square Review, Philadelphia Stories, Panoply, SWWIM, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is an adjunct at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband.

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