COVID Takeout

The green chile chicken stew

from Cocina Azul

detests its plastic container

but survives the long ride home,

a two-minute zap in the microwave,

still grabs you by the throat

and tells you that its chiles

are the real deal,

its chicken really did simmer

all day long in the magic broth.

No such luck with the chile rellenos.

Whether stuffed with melted cheese,

carne asada, or both,

they abhor the styrofoam tray

the way nature abhors a vacuum,

the crisp golden batter of their inception

sucking the moisture out of the confines

of their temporary prison.

They arrive on the plate

as a sad concatenation of flour, water,

salt, lukewarm Anaheim chiles

to remind you that the world

is not as it should be–

that they deserved a quick trip

from fryer to table,

a quick dip in the killer red chile,

and a staccato delivery

to your drooling mouth

as soon and as steadily

as you could handle

their fragrant, steaming goodness.

C. T. Holte was born in Minnesota without color TV; played under bridges and in cornfields; went to lots of school; has had gigs as teacher, editor, and less wordy things.  His poetry has appeared in places like Words, California Quarterly, Survival , The Raven’s Perch, Songs of Eretz, and Pensive, and has been hung from trees to celebrate the Rio Grande Bosque.  

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