Fresno Onions

I peeled a large red onion
from Fresno yesterday,
shortly after it got off the train.

I had been expecting it
for quite some time,
afraid it might be late
because of rain.

The first slice made me shout,
the second made me sing.

Adorned with salt,
each successive ring
stained my fingers
and my tongue.

The refracted sun
reminded one that monks
once illuminated manuscripts
with pigments derived
from similar roots and worms,
and thereby preserved
their poignant colophons:

Because of my multitudinous sins,
we suffered for three long years
on a diet of cucumbers and dried weeds,
and were devoured by flies

In memory of their sighs and deeds,
I savored to the point of tears
the flavor of that Fresno onion.

To acknowledge their disgrace
I held the orb in soul�s embrace
as if it were my own transgression.

Then I washed my face
and left the place
in lieu of my confession.

June 13, 2005

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Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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