They disassemble to their grand écart
orphan of their two blades and reunite to the rivet of their cross
washed they clip greens, make chevrons from folded basil leaves,
opening, closing to the course of your thumb and index
slit the silver belly of a trout in one stroke
cut a parchment paper into a folded heart.
Big chefs disregard them
their feminine emblem of domesticity—
Ariane’s friend who cuts a twine to an exact length
tightening a roast to its final cuisson to snap it free.
They split the wings of a chicken
they swoop over the butcher’s block like a primitive bird
gaping and closing their sharp beaks—
aerialist of the kitchen, they hang on a nail
sly of two oval eyes.
Homozygotes mirroring each other
huddled in a single ball
and separated by the distance of two feet
confounding twins incessantly catching up
ahead and behind one another,
pressures from toe to the bend of the arch.
Stretched, they inhabit their cushioned obscurity
muffling the hardness of the world,
blind folded witnesses spying through the eye of a hole,
the tear of a thread.
At the end of the day
stripped and thrown on the floor
they rest in their own unadorned odor
the fatigue of a day barely seen.
Later they tumble in the water
churned and wrung to an inner silence
till bundled, huddled they reunite in the dresser—
they who do the walk,
worn, yawn off your ankles.
Born in France, Jean-Mark Sens has lived in the American South for over twenty-five years. He is currently in Pre-Theology II, formation for Priesthood at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. His work has been published in the U.S. and Canada, and he has a collection, Appetite, with Red Hen Press. He is also working on culinary book Leafy Greens & Sundry Things.1