You & I Belong in This Kitchen

- 1948-
longtime hermano Bob          tells me
one of the monks in brown directs us to the deep sink
made of two sinks the hose & the silver table where all 
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
wait at the entrance for directions the monk gave me
but he is in there & points me to another sink
made of two sinks & a silver table where all 
the spoons & metal tongs are clean
scrub off the rice burned at the bottom 
there it is clinging to the sides of the steel
outside working the hole in the earth
three monks in brown stir the blackish pots boiling
four mouths of mud cakes for the new lunar year
the dragon the people the monastery the mountains
one monk stands staring into the nothing
no thoughts around him 
the other monk descends through the scaly fog two
children angle an exploded tree limb back & forth
so the sparks play with them      to the left 
the meditation hall is curved & faces Escondido 
down below where my father drove his army truck
& pulled our trailer to a stop on Lincoln Road in ‘54
I watered spidered corn & noticed the deportations
little friends gone the land left to ice alone
lunch is served we go to the line the spoons
and the speckled tongs await by the brown rice
white rice eggplant kim chee & a grey shade pot
pour the seaweed soup we go with our tray & sit 
the mud cakes are ribboned in red & gold & green 
there is a way to do this 
it requires listening & seeing &
silence           silence the bell rings
longtime hermano Bob & I      at the parking lot
we leave brown cloth                           brown cloth
naked spoons      naked pots
steam         rises from the sink &      the view
the view with no one           in front or     in back

More by Juan Felipe Herrera

tomorrow I leave to El Paso, Texas

see my brother-in-law with a styled shirt

in spite of his cancer below 

then a small dinner in the evening the next day

no one knows except I may be on the road

Mesquite where my father settled in '31

forty-five minutes west then a left you go in

sister Sarita waits for me on Abby Street

after decades in separate families we just met 

now I hear the clock snap I swipe an ant

time to walk my dogs five blocks and back

a different route to soothe the mind

it is the same one but I am hopeful

Five Directions to My House

1. Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance
2. Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds
3. Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor
4. Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets
5. You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now
6. I said five, said five like a guitar says six. 

Dolphinating

For Albert Goldbarth & Margarita Robles


Are you going to steal lines collect
manual typewriters 8 miles high the serotonin Albert
Goldbarth mentions the sugary night the howling
speeding most of all are you going to hobble here—
                                                             time travel?
a possible future burns your dolphin karma
forking out 500 lives from now 
Whitman in piyamas spotted leopard-like piercing
the unavoidable Void the obsessed B-B-Q where we swoop
Ersatz
          Mojo
                   Bruja 			Hoodoo scribble
it is popping Hendrix in your head it is Joplin &
Flor Silvestre & Rosetta Tharpe & Itzpapalotl do you know 
how awake you are 
                                                         Noble 
                                               8 Fold Path
too dark 
too lightning
the visualization is next 
the Ukrainian purge the intercontinental money money
O Tsunami where is my crystal realized selfie
          O my love my next Warhol dream in 
     revolution rouge & where is
my electric emerald wand rain Vajra
roll the ink & fire stones 	   unfold the third eyes 
the ten million arms of Tara & Einstein
of compassion of mercy of nebula rails come alive
jellyfish flags i bow to you 
                  jellyfish world wheel of 
swish & suffering