Needs smashing flat, skin picked
off in splinters, minced and fried
to a light almond sizzle, rescued
barely before burning. Needs a raw slice
at first scratch of a throat, needs all night
with a stinging chest poultice.
Needs to be which—the many clasped tight,
or the few, that split with one crack
into fat easy peelers?
Needs a full bulb simmered for hours.
Oh, salt it, soften to paste.
This poem wants plump and juice.
To be pulled from dry ground
in August, rip of roots,
the hole of itself
blurring dirt. To sweat
the smell of feet.
To be called Stinking Rose,
undo beige silk wraps in a swish
showing violet stripes.
Needs starting out mild, needs finishing
fevered in spice.
I know this poem needs
the combo pack, hardneck
for freshness, softneck
Needs a papery shift
to slip from a firm shape
like a bicyclist’s calf. This poem
gets every clove pumping.
This poem is revealing
what’s like a pinch of breast. Really,
this poem needs to rest
three weeks, until the outer coating
dries and separates
only very slightly from the body.