My dream daughter is chopping onions.
She has been chopping for hours, slipping
off the skin like tea-colored lingerie, slicing them
thinly like the rings of some beloved planet. As she
chops, she nudges them to the side, a growing mound
of interlocking circles, measuring the wide circumference of
her selves. With each onion beheaded, her hair grows sweaty with
the sharp armpit smell, with the stinging sweetness in the tempered
center, each long strand of hers unraveling behind her too-large ears like
mine—gramophone worthy, queen worthy. I look at her wayward strands
dangling about like lampshade pulls, and pull at my own willowing hair, for
who doesn’t desire beauty you can call yours? Did you know, I tell her, that back
in the day, onions used to make people cry? That sometimes—and she stops me right
there, her hand held high with her knife shining like a winning moon, and tells me,
gently, dirt loosening each bulb, Let’s keep bad men out of this poem, and keeps chopping.