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The Kitchen Weeps Onion

by James Arthur

The kitchen weeps onion because
the cook is dead. Pans strike chorus, and the ladles
keep a knock-kneed stride. Burners

gleam more brightly. Chives, chives, and chives. Everyone seems
so tired, but the diners cannot sleep. The kitchen tonight
weeps onion, so everyone else must weep.

What’s the use in talking? Let’s touch, and
turn apart. The cook is quiet, cold, unearthly, and
the turnip breaks its heart.


James Arthur’s poetry has appeared in The Nation, Brick, The Iowa Review, AGNI, Third Coast, and Many Mountains Moving. He is a fellow of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and La Napoule Art Foundation in France, and in 2004, he received the Discovery / The Nation prize. Currently, he teaches composition at Northwest Missouri State. (5/2005)

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