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  • I wrote this poem for you on 6 June 2010. Because you wrote one for me on my birthday two years ago. Because I asked for one. But you're a poet, and I only write them by accident... if a drawing sometimes comes out as a word jumble instead. I emailed this onion poem that summer, but I don't know if you ever read it, because you didn't write back. And now it's too late. The photo above is how I dress for chopping onions now.


    a buddhist baker explained in a book
    (where i also read that you only need a bowl and a spoon to bake bread)
    that a good way to hold a knife is thumb and first finger choked up on the blade
    so that your wrist fits to it

    which is really you keeping all your fingers

    i think of this as i pick up a knife in your kitchen
    and chop down through an onion to a black board making a hollow sound
    this knife might slice ends off sentences

    which is really me not knowing what to say

    so there is no counter space for the cutting board
    and my shoes make me too tall for this table
    but i shift my hips, splaying my legs like a giraffe lapping at a lake

    which is really me feeling overdressed for bratwurst and brown mustard

    it is tricky to slide the slices on the grill
    without dropping too many haloes to the ground
    but we circle the barrel and witness the crisp bitter onions caramelizing in the fire

    which is really us watching each other being burned
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