The Black Ant

June 29, 2016
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guacamole with green peas.

my mother is a ant; she crawls 

up my leg and follows me places.

she follows me and I feel the ghost 

of tiny ants crawling across my skin

even when she's not there.


across the world they have guacamole

studded with garbanzo beans 

fried corn, orange slices, jicama, radishes, cheese 

and garnished with sal de hormiga:

salt with ground up chicatanas

large, winged leaf-cutter ants.


I scream for help but 



if I eat the ants they will taste

somewhere between nutty and buttery

with a chemical tang.

insects are the crown jewel;

there are no peas in sight.


chapulín is shrimp tacos

battered and fried in a crust of grasshoppers

and on the tlayuda, a crispy corn tortilla

is topped, ike a small pizza

with black beans and soft cheese —

the sautéed grasshoppers come whole;

they taste exquisitely of chili and lime.


my father is a grasshopper; I cannot

see him in the grass but if I dare

to almost step on him, he will shout 

terrifyingly up at me. everything is green.


pluck one up from its lily pad 

of avocado cream, and don't forget to chew.

there are no peas in sight.


it is the Mecca of Mexican cuisine

with signposts like Dali and Buñuel;

I see a giant multicolored ant painted

on the back wall of my cranium.


the bugs at the Black Ant are nothing to be afraid of.

the bugs that you can feel — they are nothing to be afraid of.

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