I have a red onion in a green bowl on my kitchen counter
sprouting a green stalk that began as a little green haystack

bump, a knobby cyst, really, that broke surface, felt like what
I imagine I’m feeling for when I rub my breasts in the shower,

my eyes closed as if water is a blindfold allowing me to feel
within that dark any small homicide growing within me. I can’t

bring myself to use the onion, to gnash its skin, to whack off
its hard-on-gooseneck like I’m suddenly death’s

scythe, death’s brindled pet, death’s dappled good-girl. Maybe,
the onion believes in something, imagines itself still wild,

or holds in its layers the delusion of lilacs or iris or
goldenrod or blueberry or some other rambling growth

redacting my sense of abandon, here, in this too-large house,
a-lone-ly, not like a battle with silence way-of-alone-ness but

a passage. Quiet. Sometimes bright, sometimes dim, so, foreign. 
I am a theft waiting to happen, a rotten spell visioning

the onion’s end. Salt. Oil. Softly seared particulate
endings. Oh, onion, circular cycle, joy-halo. Grow.

Copyright © 2023 by Ruth Ellen Kocher. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 24, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.