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Domestic Piece

Lucy Biederman

The onion is high and small tonight.

On its night-platter it smudges its glow

as if from behind a scrim. It is white

as something scrubbed out by accident.

Do you know why it’s so roundish and remote?

Because it’s always turning itself in

as it turns away. It’s on its way out

perpetually, even when it’s slung low

and present as a Best Buy, inviting direct

address, investigation, inquiry.

But never really. Its shorted-out trails betray

frailty: They’re meant for no one to trace.

The moon is for your dinner. It fell

into rings under my knife too easily—

I suspect that it’s been making trouble

with pieces of our house behind our eyes

but it divulges nothing. It is dry

and juicy at once, and goes from bitter to sweet

in a flash of heat, like no delicacy

would. Its inner layers are sealed contracts

of outer, outer backing up against

itself, facing out. In its dominion,

gray, yellow, and blue make a heart-

of-palm-colored white, opaque as a fist.

On this planet there’s too little air for us.

We are lit but barely by the onion’s light,

and our mooncakes offer little sustenance.

Lucy Biederman

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