Salty, Ensalada Verde with Onions

Peaceful plucking, flamenco strings
mellifluous dissonance, harmonies
ensalada verde, unremarkable request
impromptu noontime nourishment
splashed and tossed indigenous ingredients:
coconut oil, white table vinegar
fermented fruit of the palma real,
crushed garlic, crushed chili
crushed pepper and sea salt

Precious, unambitious
innocuous Salt!

Spice most consumed, by far by all
sprinkled, from simple
bought at any Walmart, from here to Beijing
Made in China, embossed boldly
high upon the rim,
tightly spring-loaded
designed to ensure “snap-on
from caking cross-Atlantic
African desert-dust and moisture
riding on, heaving on
retreating, briny, caribbean
trade winds

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
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
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
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
splashing with aplomb,
onto my plain
china plate
of a saltier, now
ensalada verde
en Caña Gorda, al mar

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