I Peel the Garlic


I Peel The Garlic

and think of skin

pale and open

and wanting, like yours.

Mine the color of cherries

languid and sea-varnished.

Its thin veneer heals

each night like Prometheus,

his eagle greets me again

at dawn with a talon tear.

I peel the garlic

the static crackle

recalls your savage wail

roaring mythical

like a beast

cut down, chained

and haunted your fire

doused in grief,

even lemons can’t hide

the coppery smell

the cindered flesh.

I peel the garlic

the papery petals scratch,

tear like stridulous insects

cocoon casings upturned

panicked paper boats

uncertain of rescue.

Garlic is an ancient and bulbous vegetable.

Allium flower sweet and seductive,

It won’t grow separated for long.

leaves me leery of the deep roots.

Its lantern skin is

crawling with them.

I peel the garlic

make little knife wounds

before sprinkling the salt.

This poem took first place in their poetry contest and was first published by The University of Houston's "Glass Mountain" journal, volume #24, spring, 2020.

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© 2020 by Linda Laino Words + Pictures.