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Poetry

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

12:33 PM PDT on July 28, 2021

    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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