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‘Under the Lights of a Taco Truck,’ A Poem to Celebrate Jonathan Gold’s 61st Birthday

Art by Joaquin Hernandez.

[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]o honor Jonathan Gold don’t write

him a poem or an essay. Don’t talk

about your favorite restaurant.

To honor Jonathan Gold is to learn how

to navigate from Westside freeways

to strip malls in the San Gabriel

Valley; is letting your tongue travel

from Manila to Calcutta all in one day;

it means you know the taco is life

wrapped in a tortilla.

To honor Jonathan Gold you have to recognize

the seas and borders that recipes crossed

to make it inside a restaurant; you have to

think about tired hands

in the San Joaquin Valley picking garlic;

you have to remember the Brown bodies

in the kitchen; you have to leave

a proper tip—not another Yelp review.

To honor Jonathan Gold visit a fancy taco

spot in the Arts District. Sit across

from a woman, look into delicious eyes and

say: the sourness of the feta cheese on these sweet

potato tacos overpower the sweetness.

To honor Jonathan Gold there has to be a table

where food is shared, not worshiped;

or, a picnic at Hollywood Forever Cemetery;

or, under the lights of a taco truck on a

South Central street. So, text your friends,

invite them to dinner, and order

everything on the menu.

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