By Monica Rico
Let’s go to Saginaw, my parents house, and definitely
have my mother cook cow braised in Vargas’s light chile powder so simple
my mother says there’s nothing to it, says anyone can make it, but they can’t.
I’ll prepare her rice when we get home, one cup of long grain golden in oil, a small tomato sauce,
14.5 ounces of chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, comino (when my father isn’t
looking) and oregano crushed in the palm of my hand and measured by the palm of my hand.
Pinto beans served with queso fresco and one tortilla chip in the center because
we are celebrating Maria Elena’s tortillas fresh and slightly burnt around the edges,
San Marcos’s sliced pickled jalapeños with carrots. Even though my father
eats things separately I think it is better to mix them: meat with rice, beans with rice, |
I will eat all the carrots. Of course my father grabs the last hunk of meat on my plate,|
puts it in his mouth and says, “Mmmmmm. You weren’t gonna eat that, were you?” |
Getting us another beer, I laugh and hope we will stay up too late holding on to
the kitchen table and one more story about when my father used to pick up hot chicharrones
slathered in salsa. You’re tired. Stay the night. My mother bought chorizo for breakfast.
I’ll fry the potatoes in the morning. My mother says the avocado will be ready by then.
It’s ok to stay too long. You’re not troubling anyone. My mother says you don’t have to leave.
Monica Rico grew up in Saginaw, Michigan alongside General Motors and the legend of Theodore Roethke. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program and the author of Twisted Mouth of the Tulip (Red Paint Hill Publishing, 2017). Her poems have appeared in SiDEKiCK Lit, Dunes Review, Moonchild Magazine, The Ilanot Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Luna Luna, and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. Follow her at www.slowdownandeat.com