A Memory Of My Mother On Her Birthday

Impervious to fugues of fantasy
in quasi famished states
I cut hungrily into crisp,
succulent leaves of palish green,
cold and sweating, iceberg lettuce-cups
snapping moist against my dry, silent lips
hard, sinewy, orange-pink, yellow-green, striated, unripened tomatoes
from northern, southern nurseries
imported express for inauspicious occasions, like an ordinary lunch
by luminescent lapping shores
extraordinary! ensalada verde
en Caña Gorda, al mar

Bobbing at the base
of its vinegary
saliferous, peppered stew
two small, raw
white concentric rings of onion
almost perfectly-sized
for graceful young women
to wear gently
around long, slender, flowing fingers
I bit in.
its steady-stinging, watery flesh
squirted
flooding my nostrils
with acrid sweet

In one fantastic
fleeting flash,
a firebolt of memory…

A time more hopeful
and innocent with fun,
a foreign concept, the pangs of loss
my mother and I lie
wriggling on our bellies
on fresh-cut, sweet-green-grass
crossed at the ankles, legs flailing in the air
chortling with laughter

My eyes squint to see.

Her loving,
exuberant young face
beaming…
eclipsing
the early afternoon sun,
one surviving, conspicuous
glowingly chirping-yellow buttercup
brushes boldly
against my cheek
in the park across the street
eating home-grown
Bazik spuckies with tuna,
soupy mayonnaise
dripping down my snickering
dolphin’s grin
and onions and pickles and potato chips, on our tickled breaths
she plucked the lone-surviving
persistent, cheery intruder
pressed it toward my chin
imploring playfully:
“make a wish”.

A tear fell
sluggishly,
splashing with aplomb,
onto my plain
white
porcelain
china plate
of a saltier, now
ensalada verde
en Caña Gorda, al mar

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