It’s her first time in Beirut
so Maria wants an authentic dish, homespun
as a bowl of Aunt Chuca’s albondigas on a San Diego
orange hangover morning.
She who will not stomach menudo
squatting in the kitchen beside rounded corners of a manila fridge.
You see, she is la raza, the race of the cosmos,
those effervescent feathered serpents:
Her brown people
who tore from their pyramids laying waste
to her brown people,
until those who gave her a name
cast their horrible armor upon her shore.
Together they forged Mexican Highway 15, erecting a million steeples,
Hers is a people
found and found again,
who pitch for the genuine article
only for what the Sultan’s sons dine on,
what the monkey suited narguile boys take in
beneath Phoenician tapestries, and
she expects Lebanon’s beverage of choice.
Her mouth moist,
she bites into the Burger King,
the french fries and on her hotel veranda
Maria makes a promise to share a Pepsi with her abuela
the next time she visits.