After Chuck Ramirez
for Maricela and Sarah
I knew I had been officially invited in to her familia
when a Tejana took me to her favorite breakfast taco spot
and that morning she left them wrapped in sparkling tinfoil
waiting for me to wake up.
The “migrating” Tejanos in the Bay Area,
who become more Texan when they leave Texas,
list off food memories trying to explain
to this Guate Mujer what they miss–
how they might make a killing if they started
a Tejano style taco pop up shop in Oakland.
Meanwhile they speak of smuggling tacos
onto planes after home visits
because of their precious taste,
papas y chorizo, huevo con papas,
nostalgia of late nights and early mornings.
Reminds me of other migrant crossings
international lines instead of state lines
with their precious cargo.
If you board a plane from Guatemala to the US
no doubt it will smell of Pollo Campero
another migrant prize with unique
“Latin American spices you can’t get in the U.S!”
Affected by temperature, climate, soil,
and the hands that make it special
yucca fries, black beans, corn or flour choice of sides.
I imagine a meal with all of us together
sharing our “comida rapida”
Where fresh tortillas are the only kind
whether they be fluffy flour and buttered
or inch thick corn and salted.
The after math a glowing still life of
paper plates with flower designs,
shiny cans of Miller, Lone Star, or maybe Pilsner, Gallo,
coffee cups, Mexican Coca Cola, though Pepsi dominates Guate
paper bowls sides decorated with salsa remains,
empty tortilla warmers embroidered
with bright green yarn nationalities
crushed napkin sculptures and unused utensils.
I wonder if the young Central Americans waiting in detention
in McAllen, Texas
huddled together on shared mattresses
ever ate Pollo Campero? or were they hoping for McDonalds?
or maybe just some water after eating only stale tortillas
for days on the tops of a train called “La Bestia?”
Or will they ever be invited to enjoy a
huevo y papas
maybe replacing the pintos with black or red beans,
with sides of curtido or chirmol.
Related: More ‘Viva Macondo’ entries