for Don QuiQue, the man who taught me how to make ceviche, may God bless him

always one to walk up the mountain,
scraps of food in his pockets
to treat every stray along the way.

until they were too broken to climb,
old buddies travelled with,
ending with whiskies and coconut water.

on Three Kings' Day, candies
would fill his pockets to gift
the kids who ran up to him

orange knee’d with the stamp
of the clay soil that choked flowers
but held a palm tree firm.

I tried to climb that mountain once
but it was too steep, and my
flat feet were not used to the pound.

he laughed and said, ok, you stop here
and I’ll catch you on the way down,
we’ll have a nice glass of wine.

my name always rolled off of his tongue
thick with accent and an old English-
wise words always sang forth.

once he put on the counter all of the
makings for his specialty dish:
octopus and shrimp ceviche.

come, he said, I will show you how,
some garlic, capers, onions,
chop up the tentacles  chunky.

mix together with olive oil and vinegar,
ah, this is the best, from home,
we’ll have wine and maybe some whiskey.

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