This is an excerpt from
by Maria Melendez.
to be needed by the world,
and by solano grass, a rare
central Valley plant, delicate and lovely.
Solano grass: the plant world’s wet mutt:
clumpy, drooping leaves, pale inflorescence
rising in a spike of tiny, ragged glumes,
pointed at the tip which, my naturalist’s
curiosity revealed, tasted like battery acid.
The patch of Tuctoria offered up its
strongest inner oils, anticipating
my warm, animal tongue.
a source of Chicana revelation=
Aztec holy music singing up the palate.
First, dark cup was good, gritty,
but no ancestral voices in sweet steam.
Tia Luz sang “The King of Glory Comes”
while stirring in the Oaxacan chunks,
and the kitchen macaw squawked along.
Love, when finally bound in gold=
Compassion big across as the valley,
Wholeness pure as sleep.
Love enacted daily: a Formica table top
stained with Tension Tamer tea,
a renegade worm of last week’s spaghetti
Our first table, bought at Goodwill,
had little gold strands painted into it,
extra leaves to make it longer
for our children.