Poem about Spending a day with an Onion

You were light. Sunlight. Pure shining light, absorbed by the living systems on Planet Earth. Bright light, hungry light.

You are a pattern in a flow. Your identity jumps from atoms to atoms. They jump into the atmosphere, the oceans, the soil of the planet. They jump into me.

Your beauty formed petal by petal. Expanded you. And in the secrecy of the dark earth your belly grew round. You began to swell when a certain day-length was reached. You were a capsule of life containing an entire organism. The plant’s embryo, formed after insemination, enclosed in a nourishing coat.

You sprouted, keenly towards the sun. Like baboons in heat, you waved your succulent sprouts to present your fertility, your fleshy layers easily keeping the grime on your exterior.

But your roots were torn, your tendrils hanging onto the earth. Coitus interruptus between you, the Earth and the Sun. But you were not special to them like you are to me now. You were just some onion among thousands of others. Categorised, exported and placed in the supermarket. A homogenous display of ripe pickings for the taking.

I was lucky enough that I found you. I watched you for hours. Comfortably hustled in your net. Neither my cigarette smoke, coffee odour nor my curiosity could penetrate your dermis. With the morning light reflecting off your skin, it gave you a luminance that seemed so dynamic yet you remained static.. until I touch you. But I don’t want to touch you yet, I know your outer skins are fragile and will fall off. Some have already fallen off partly, revealing a lighter skin beneath like a snake shedding their skins to allow for more growth. You had marks of interaction with humans before me.

I have left my marks of abuse, and you’ve left your traces in my pocket. I compare you to the others, all together netted in the supermarket. 1.59 for a net of you. But you are now different to me. I have personalized you. Your purple dermis so delicately crumbled in my hands and pocket. I smell you, like the smell my mom used to have on her pruney hands when she held my face and stroked my hair. I miss her.

You’re velvety touch temps me. You’ve shed your brittle dandruff flakes. Succulence is all that there is to uncover. After a few drinks I decide it’s time. We’ve spent enough time together for me to peel you open.

I am shedding your filmy layers, the firm white flesh revealing what’s hidden deep inside. Your translucent inner sheaths like vegetable undergarments. Like a matryoshka I am opening you until the last hollow doll that holds the baby, deep inside. Shrinking down to nothing, your shells are disappearing and there’s nowhere left to hide. Your soft green symbol emerges, stiff with life.

I place you inside me.

Reluctant to relinquish our intimacy, your sharp essence clings to my fingers, like a reputation. Hours later, in the dark, you season the air around my hands.

Perhaps you would’ve tasted better in my mouth.