The Onion Poem
by Fady Joudah December 24, 2007(From the New Yorker)
Why are there onions the size of swallows in your maple tree?
In the land of cactus wind the one-eyed dwell.
Where is the village whose name holds back the sea?
Caterpillars are for home demolitions in a globe of tents.
Autumn or spring, which is your plumage of choice?
Every empire is a return of the dead.
And Whitman, what would have become of him had you lost the war?
A rooster in rigor-mortis pose makes vultures descend.
Is that the easiest pain?
The Hittites veiled their nuclear weapon for as long as they could.
But lilies have rights, iris amendments?
And the bats for rabies are for the urban sunset.
Are you a tiger or a martyr to deforestation?
The genetic map is over the counter.
And the Black Sea is black.
And the Red Sea red.
And the leaves like waves on the pebble shore?
I rake them. My father’s garden can use some ash.