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Las Cocinas 

Stephanie Suarez

Mami no se queda en un hogar por mucho tiempo. 

La necesidad la llama a otro lugar--pero, 

en mi mente, hay cositas que saben sobrevivir.

Grandma's Country Crock, brown plastic container 

that almost never contained butter, maybe 

some rice and beans Grandpa didn't finish off. 

In the freezer, above my line of vision, 

chicken feet, pointed and clawing at me, 

for sopa con fideos. 

Sofrito for habichuelas lives 

in another makeshift, repurposed, rasquache, 


Tin Keebler green cans with galletas 

that finished off the butter that would have 

lived in brown plastic. 

Jars of Sanka and white, granulated,

sugar for Cornflakes 

served in silver pots 

Or government cheese in rectangular blocks 

and cans of salchichas labeled 

Goya--that's my traveling kitchen. 

No home for the traveling teen mom

except the eyes of her child. 

and the green tin, brown plastic, 

with some matches 

to light the stove.

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