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State of Our Onions

by Jenn Blair

  • The man on the billboard says
  • he and his staff sleep good
  • on the very soft mattresses they make
  • because they care about all of America.
  • Those who don’t
  • toss and turn and end up
  • stars on the small town crime show.
  • Blue agate bolo tie asserts that the bad
  • egg was easy to spot
  • even while still in the basket.
  • Never wanted to farm. Get up
  • before noon. Never talked to anybody much.
  • Bodyguard from Mexico. Trailers
  • at the edges of fields. Ostrich schemes.
  • Paranoia and pastel colored pamphlets
  • stuffed full of exclamation points.
  • The accomplice: a girl with lilac eye shadow,
  • coral stretch pants—her mouth weakly
  • parodying the setting rising sun
  • on the back of Ben Franklin’s Philadelphia chair.
  • A woman who smoked pot and knew nothing.
  • A woman still walking barefoot on car tops—hopping
  • from failure to failure—quicker and quicker—
  • in hopes she’ll miss the frying pan hours—step
  • down right as the metal first flushes warm—fall
  • into some god’s strong compromised arms.
  • Let the record be set straight.
  • Her spindly knees out in the garden, careful
  • crayon drawings of trees living in houses
  • drinking bright cups of orange juice—
  • the way she always plucked off the candy
  • sugar faces glued to her wax Easter bunny,
  • saved them in an old paper clip box.
  • Redeemable. She.


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