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February 19, 2024

Pure Onionhood

By Julian O. Long

Pure Onionhood

-- homage to Wislawa Szymborska

Peeling back each layer
when you have sliced into its heart
and finding no heart there that doesn't
sting your eyes -- some chopping lets it
out to season such a stew, ragout, olla
podrida, mélange, gumbo, soup of the
day as you may; but yet another heart
must reside in this bulb, perhaps
in the flat part you threw away
or the rooty tendrils attached
or even the tall green leaves protruded
from the crown. You imagine the bulb
putting itself back together, spinning
like a top off the counter and landing
by your feet, searching again for earth
to rebury itself. Where in such corpse
composted clay might soon reside, friends
of its purity as new bulbs grow from the old
husk. Being, reduced to such simplicity resides
in inhuman things, in roots and rhizomes
some say even in quaking aspen, cottonwood
poplar, trees of heaven.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-06-27
Image(s) are public domain.
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