Speak The Mag


Sumana Roy
September 21

I watch them lose water and shrivel,
lose colour, lose a couplet’s sting,
lose secrets, lose dusk.
I remind myself that they’re dying –
curved, nail-like julienned onions,
tiny twigs crawling on a frying pan.
Oil tickles the back of the onion slivers,
they crumple into ancestral shapes of escape –
broken wings; a half-grasp; collapsed joints.
Once pink procession, now broken barbed wire.
Death is such a spendthrift.
Of everything, this most precious –
the release from the burden of form,
of slivers becoming thread; life is too hard.
An onion’s arcs, its whorls, its caves –
the weight of form:
water’s invisible scaffolding.
Then, this boneless rest –
death changes everything,
including handwriting.
Inside my mouth caramelised onions,
the obscene sweetness of death –
as if death were a fruit that’s ripened from waiting.

Sumana Roy
meet the author

Sumana Roy

Sumana Roy is the author of How I Became a Tree, a work of non-fiction, Missing: A Novel, Out of Syllabus: Poems and My Mother’s Lover and Other Stories, a collection of short stories.