Second Marriage, Stew, by Natalia Ortegon Trevino

With what ingredients I happen to have‚
small chicken thigh, chayote squash, carrot,

red and blue potato. I am cooking for you while you lie sick,
have been, long before we met, you say.

Marry me you asked.
We’d been walking miles next to the Shortland Esplanade,

an Australian cliffside path,
hoping for an ocean sunrise.

The cutting board pushes back my knife when I cut
the squash through the skin, a blemish of pale green.

But I see a slim disk in the center has begun to turn red.
A sudden red smoothness, a red lip near the stem.

Still chilled and somewhat respectable,
it opens firm, dices clean.

How would this squash taste,
having waited so long stored in cold?

We could go out for dinner, you say, reaching from our bed,
your eyes closed, your fever a raging stew, mid-boil,

And this poem surfaces
reddening for lips.


Born in Mexico City, and the mother of one, Natalia Ortegon Trevino was raised in San Antonio, Texas and is an Associate Professor of English at Northwest Vista College as well as a member of the Macondo Foundation.  She is a graduate of UTSA’s graduate English program and The University of Nebraska’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Natalia is the recipient of an Alfredo Moral de Cisneros Award, the Wendy Barker Creative Writing Award, and the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her essays, poems, and fiction appear in a variety of print and online journals. An excerpt from her novel, La Cruzada appears in the Winter 2011-12 Platte Valley Review, and most recently, her essay  “Crown Our Good” appeared in the anthology, Complex Allegiances from Wising Up Press. Her first book of poems, Eight Marry Wives, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press.

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