On the Corner of Junipero, Learning Not to Hold the Chili Powder


They hear the honk from the corn man’s cart—
plastic and blue, stolen from someone who stole
it from somewhere on El Segundo where rappers rap
about lost wallets and forgotten jimmy cappers.

Stitched into this Pacific hem, he is a land-man
to  his soothing water-girl with her mermaid way
of flicking water over pain. They form an island
each time she visits him from her mountain shore

wild with snap peas and hollyhocks bending—earthy
and green, tossed and trusted to gain root as silent
sentries waiting for her return.  He weaves his way back
to her, through skaters and sidewalk trash—with one cob

con todo.  Mayonnaise, chili powder, parmesean and butter.
They share the same ear of corn, juicy—yet explosive. Living
here, he says, I’ve learned to trust the cook has a reason
for his combinations. Eat, just the way it’s served.

originally published in Barnwood International Poetry Magazine


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