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April 2019 Vol. 15 No. 1

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Rebeca Lois Lucret

Mofongo

Removing each item from the grocery bags made me think of the dining table back in Coney Island. Green plantains, garlic, cooking oil, pork fat, salt, mortar and pestle, my father’s hands and us. Mofongo was a family affair. Mami fried the plantains and pork fat. Papi seasoned and smashed. The rest of us rolled up the mashed plantains into large balls in our tiny hands. Everyone had a job and everyone was at the table.

Now there is only me. Now I am the entire table. I am mami and papi. I am my sisters. I am that wooden dining table. I am all the wooden chairs to the dining table. I am the frying and the mashing. I am the sneaking little morsels in my mouth when papi wasn’t looking. I am the rolling of the eyes when mami was looking. I am that big headed, skinny, shy, afro-having black girl. I am the Spanish being flung around the room. I am mami’s favorite housecoat. I am the portraits on the wall surrounding us. I am every single ingredient we put in, including love, both dysfunctional and pure.

Now all grown up, I sit at my dining table with my balls of mofongo and think of all that I am. I have changed it up a little. I have added black pepper but still, this is home.

slicing bananas
the vegetable oil pops
in mami's kitchen


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