Tequila / Pulque

by

 

Agave worm in my bottle,
you’re la crema de los gusanos.
Ebony knob on a divinity stick.
Who could swallow a prettier fellow?

But tell me, farm-raised worm,
what have you to do with Tequila?
With wild agave drained to death
by sweaty men in a desert, its juice

distilled for bandits to heat themselves
before stopping the bus from the border?
Hey, perfect worm, you look
gringo clean tonight!

Give me a sour glass of pulque,
where a real worm might be,
mottled and smashed, cut to bits –
a worm of the people.

Pass him round in a bottle
born of broken bottles.
¡Salud! to the approaching lights –
el autobús de los turistas.

 

First published in Cottonwood (formerly Cottonwood Review).

 

"Panificadora Sambo," Nogales, Mexico, circa 1959 - photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

“Panificadora Sambo,” Nogales, Mexico, circa 1959 – photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

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