Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For His Vato, He Cut Squash

And thinking that perhaps one day that knife would occupy my own hand, I watched.
In the folds of my lung, I jot notes: Seventeen wedges. Three-quarters
Of the pot. Girth and deposits of cumin that were not in the appearance of pods.
I’d never seen cumin take any other form. A flame danced.
“He gets home around 7.” Wide-mouthed.
Chin lifting. Inspections. Inheritances.
At nineteen, I am a witness.
Expectedly, circles of the calabaza proved buoyant.
Fat thighs waddle then sink. Drunken meat plops after its sheath
Has submit its flavor.
And “They’re fucking with him at work.
I don’t like for him to be hungry, to go without.”
Creeper confesses of his vato, “He works his ass off,” and
Though we all have had long days, I believe immeasurably at that moment
that his vato’s day is somehow longer than ours.
My camarada has already put in his shift. I still owe hours of my own.
Diligence, devotion.
For others, he’s cut things before. If not this dish, then, radish
And espinacas that bleed the axis of fingers green, flautas, camaron,
Picadillo, guisada. I will learn.
With no abuela or jefa, brown water shows its irregularity—
comino and the blue pot I now cook in for my own.

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