The Feast of Corpus Christi
For we consume the god in the tortillas,
in the wine and mescal and tequila,
in the lamb burned in the pit,
the tacos of cow’s udder, the blackened
chiles, the gray fungus growing on the corn.
Today I saw the elote man, who sells
cooked ears of corn still in their husks,
stacked in two plastic tubs suspended
from a pole resting on his shoulders.
Each late afternoon I hear him out in the colonia,
walking past the low, stuccoed houses,
their flat roofs and roof dogs, calling out
elo-o-o-o-te, stretching out the O, elote grown
in fields pocked with hot springs,
corn transformed by fire and sold in streets
of dirt and stone, where we devour the body
of the world, where every day, in our hunger,
we are born again.
Carolyn Miller is a poet, painter, book editor, and designer living in San Francisco. Her most recent book of poetry is Route 66 and Its Sorrows (Terrapin Books, 2017). Two earlier books, Light, Moving (2009) and After Cocteau (2002), were published by Sixteen Rivers Press. Her work has appeared in Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Georgia Review, ONE ART, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.