“Disassembling” by Candace Pearson



Onion cannot un-
dress herself. Will not.
Does not want to
for she loves her layers,
their gradations grown
round with dew,
seasons encircling
in a compact
of concealment.

Onion layers
all winter long.
Private. Inscrutable.
Building an orbit
of safety and enclosure,
wrapped in gauze.

Though unaccustomed
to peeling off a glove,
come sun, come heat,
onion sheds
her crisp brown organza.
It crinkles to the floor,

And in the cooking,
stripped bare (des nuda)
those layers
once so inseparable
willing or merely persuaded
to caramelize
and undress the possible
of change.


candace pearson

Candace Pearson’s poems have appeared in fine literary journals and anthologies; the latter include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond and Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems. Her collection, Hour of Unfolding, won the Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry from Longwood University. You’ll find her scratching out her work in a 100-year-old cottage at the edge of the San Gabriel foothills.

Photo Credit: Alexa Nuzzo