Poetry

Masa

"Mexican tortilla" © David Boté Estrada, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Mexican tortilla” © David Boté Estrada, 2014. CC BY-SA 2.0.
This afternoon I went out for Mexican food
Well after the lunch rush
That quiet, empty space between meal times

Sat in a big, bright room alone
A man crooning Spanish over an accordion
played on the sound system
Accompanied by the clinking of ice in my glass and
the sound of my fork on my plate

Behind a curved glass wall
a woman stood making fresh tortillas

When I lived alone in Portland I made tortillas, too

Measured the masa by handful
Added water until I could feel the right consistency
Threw in a pinch of salt
Made balls of dough and
pressed them in that big, wooden contraption
someone must have also made by hand
Cooked them on hot cast iron
Flipped them with my fingers
Just like the Guatemalan grandmothers
on the YouTube videos do

I made piles of them and fed them to everyone
Ate them with nothing but a spritz of lime

Soft tortillas pressed against the flesh of our lips
Cut by the lightest pressure of slippery teeth
We didn’t think about how everything we do is wrong
and it hurts all the time

Just ate our fill

4 thoughts on “Masa

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