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Onion Skins

Instead of writing poems
about you, I should busy myself.
I should distract myself from
this persistent missing you.

I should buy groceries.

I should navigate my wire
cart through aisles of boxes
and cans, past old church ladies
and acne-faced stock boys
and piles upon piles of produce,

but this old wheel is stuck
in a turn. I’m going in circles.

Wave off the store clerk who asks
“Sir, do you need help?”
She can’t rid me of you.
She can’t rid me of you.

Fifth time past the yellow onions
and the garlic bulbs, another
damn poem about you
creeps into my head.

I wish you were as easy
to peel off my memory
as skin from garlic clove,
as skin from onion bulb.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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