Chile Rellenos

Between Vera Cruz and Mexico City
on the high plains under the volcanoes
Pico de Orizaba and Popocatepetl,
you will find the city and state of Puebla,
the spicy brown mole poblano sauce,

and the poblano chile, a mild green pepper
big enough to stuff with queso asadero,
huitlacoche, squash flowers and cinnamon,
rolled in a batter of egg and masa flour
and fried to just this side of Nahua heaven.

Padre Sol, Madre Tierra, Sister Maíz, Brother Chile,
I come to your table a hungry traveler
and you feed me in your humble kitchen
redolent of wood smoke and oregano,
the holy communion of the Cuetlaxcuapan Valley,

the place where serpents shed their skins.