Garlic as Russian Dolls


Photo by Iqbal Osman

The cloves cluster
like sisters
each wearing a different size.
When they are old enough
the green of new life sprouts
and their pungent taste is replaced
with motherhood.
Peel the outer shell
and the papery
skin drops to the kitchen floor
in so many pieces.
Peel each clove.
You are undressing them—
Your fingernails catching
the rough edge to expose
a tender, white belly.


Lisa Regen writes fiction and creative nonfiction exploring themes of risk, loss, and contradiction. She lives in North Bend, WA, with her husband and two children. She runs a graphic design business and holds a BA in English Literature from DePaul University.


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