Laurence Musgrove: Good Medicine

The clutch of fresh tortillas  
You bought at Mata’s Fruit Store 
Just north of the Stanton Street Bridge 
Paired perfectly with your green chile stew. 
Long ago, I stopped with my daughters 
For combo plates and salsa in Las Cruces 
And learned the baptism of hatch pepper 
As it rinsed the dust from my eyes. 
So, when I stood in your small kitchen, 
Cubes of pork and potatoes swimming 
In a deep stained cauldron of verde, 
I knew I was in for another scalding. 
After a spoon or two, my tongue lit up 
And beads of sweat pooled on my scalp. 
Next came tears and laughter, a drippy nose. 
Down my neck and back, ran a rivulet. 
The mistake, of course, is to lick your lips. 
But even that quick blistering subsided 
As I peeled back and folded another tortilla 
To sop up what remained of my remedy. 

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