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Dream Daughter with Onions

ISSUE:  Spring 2021


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.


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