Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol. 21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Break Up Poem

When you slice the ends off an onion,
sever the ends quick so they can’t
make you cry. Do not toss
away the peel. Do not relinquish
the muddy roots
of the leeks or scallions.
Soak them in water
till they give up their dirt.

Slide into plastic to freeze until you need it,
adding the feet of mushroom carefully brushed,
the celery flimsy like weak knees.
Add bouillon or garlic or bones.

When you get sick from absence
or ache, throw these ends into the largest
pot you own. Borrow one
if you have to. Fill with tap water to the top.

Boil for as long as you can stand
the smell of your mother in the kitchen.
Eat too fast so it burns
your tongue. Trust
this is not the last time
you’ll be able to feed yourself.  

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