Ghazal, with Onions, after Midnight

Methodical clicking, light metal against another surface: and I think that someone
in the kitchen is slicing an onion— this sound that wakes me after midnight.

For a moment I don’t know the day, don’t know the hour— But I am almost perfectly sure
that on the red and white chopping board, an onion is being diced, after midnight.

The night lights are out, only the clock’s green numbers float on the ceiling.
Outside: raindrops like tiny pearl onions, dark baguette of sky at midnight.

The rain has peeled away some of the heat. But there are always more
layers underneath, like an onion. And now I’m sleepless, after midnight.

I wish I knew how to tell which spiral leads into another. Then perhaps some things in life might be
simpler. And why I thought of the onion, I don’t know. But now it keeps me awake after midnight.

So many thoughts that unroll like parchment in the mind. And a poet I love once wrote in praise of
the onion and its honorable career: for the sake of others, disappear. All this, past midnight.

And long ago, someone spoke to me of marriage, bringing me home at dusk. I fingered the latch at the gate,
unable to put a finger on some vacant unease, tiny space at the onion’s heart. I think of it too at midnight.

It’s true there are worse things in life that bring tears, and that fumes from candle flame
help dissipate an onion’s sting. But what remedy for the soul’s unease, after midnight?

 

In response to small stone (107).

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