It is the peeling that breaks me.
It is the skin once a thin bastion
against dirt, against mandible,
against the boring small things
that blister the flesh, brown the pulp.
And as I slide a blade into the onion,
wincing in the sting of sulphur,
these fumes of disdain, it yields,
again and again, to the rocking steel,
humming unto the butter and pan.
But it’s the peeling that breaks me.
Thin papers loose as sunburn,
loose as ribbon unwound
from the core, loose as young men
bound for the shore, loose as a living,
a living no more.