red onion rising --
layers of sweet skin curving
back over twined sprouts
Making the first cut into the red globe, the white ceramic blade slices swiftly through the firm flesh, unzipping curved layers of onion. I stand far enough away that the sweet, pungent fragrance floats up, filling the space between the onion and my nostrils, but does not cause tears. The hemispheres fall apart, revealing not one but two sprouts, conjoined twins held in a red striped womb. The blonde twins -- one fat, one thin -- have been severed, not apart but along their spines. One half of the quadruplets I hold in my left hand. The other half lies on a blue plate, rising in the center of a new cosmos.
If I were a skilled surgeon, perhaps I could have made the precise cut to separate the sprouts intact. But to what end? The onion is destined for the stew pot. Still, I have to turn the twins face down before I begin chopping the red onion into small cubes. The smell of onion lingers on my fingers long after I wash my hands.