On the origin of chorizo


n Aztec medicine man, whose name has been lost to history
with bushy, serious eyebrows like my grandfather – an ancestor of his?
sent his understudy
— oh that is my Anglo approximation. I don’t know their language —
to wander the underworld on a fact-finding mission.
He rendered his disciple fit for the journey,
slitting his throat with a ceremonial dagger.
The body thudded to the floor, a gurgling fountain of vermilion.

After three days, the medicine man, with his unparalleled knowledge
of arcane arts, brought life back to the corpse
knife track knit, and the body
warmed and filled up with fresh blood again,
as if he had never been cut.

Suddenly, as if drawn by the power of necromancy,
the king of demon pigs appeared,
a fiery red, pudgy porker with yellow eyes and sooty hair,
escapee from the underworld, smoke shooting
from his nostrils, squealing louder than an avalanche,
an aural catastrophe that destroyed much of the medicine man’s home
before the creature could be brought to heel with a magical abeyance.
Judging the pig a menace to the world, the medicine man
and his revenant understudy slaughtered it
and ground up every bit, snout to toe, the gristle-filled accordion guts,
jelly eyeballs, even the squeal sealed in.
Inspired, they mixed in the nose-hair singing spices
the understudy had brought up from some underworldly kitchen.
When he had revived, mystery of mysteries, it was found
clutched in his earthly hand.

The sausage created from this mixture — out-of-this-world sinful.
All who tasted it died where they sat, instantly, of pleasure,
a death that outmatched the medicine man’s revival skill.
Who could wake such smiling corpses?
Lost for the second and final time, the understudy
was left to forever study the under.

The chorizo made today is a culinary yearning
for that unattainable, deadly sausage,
the perfect accompaniment for scrambled eggs.

* * * * *

Kimberly L. Wright, an editor of a small weekly newspaper, lives in Prattville, Ala., USA. Her poetry has previously appeared in Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, Doggerel, Arrowsmith and Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure.  She is klwright73 on Twitter. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

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