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.

*

Jenn Blair is from Winterville, GA. She has published in Tusculum Review, Copper Nickel, MELUS, and the SNR Review, and has work forthcoming in the Santa Fe Review and Inscape. Her chapbook All Things are Ordered is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in April.