Tony La Rose conoce el chicharrón

I had never been so abroad
real abroad     real foreigner
no more pampered by a common language

by well-known costumes and habits
          same dishes both sides of frontier. 

I saw people here shave a dead pig
to eat its skin deep-fried
and now when I pass the razor on my face
I feel that smell of molten lard

I hear the scratch of blade on coarse skin
I see the glass of dead eyes.

Being abroad is to be orphaned of references

to eat what your mother taught should never be eaten
to drink what your manly dad would never drink
to sleep where no imagination showed

you could get some rest.

To be an alien is to be alienated of references
to know the world anew

or be overrun by it     laughed by it
to be the discriminated one.

In these lands

I am like the chopped pig in that gigantic

being devoid of all substance
by stirring and heat.

Once surprise and disgust
cede to hunger and curiosity
you begin not being foreigner.

Once mommy’s raised finger
and that old ghost of superdad
are powerless against unrespectful kids
amused ladies
joking men
          you have the choice of blending in
or just be a tourist.

None is a choice for me.

(Encontrada bajo una banca en el templo de San Antonio. Aguascalientes, Ags., 20150830).

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