Tacos México

Mon 01 January 2001
By John Mark Schofield in Poetry

I go to Tacos México at midnight — the one on Broadway past Ninth where the Latino gangbangers don’t have much patience for the homeless black vets who ask them for handouts and the for-rent girls from the dance-hall down the block come by after a hard night of dry humping on the dance floor or handjobs in dark corners for a hearty meal standing up at the worn white counter of tacos o burros de lengua o asada o cabeza o al pastor and then one of them will say something in Spanish and I’ll respond in kind and they’ll all laugh at the white boy downtown at night who speaks Spanish — but not making a point of it, you know, they don’t want to be rude, and it’s been getting tougher there the last year; not so many truckers pulling hard days nights with loads of produce from Ventura bound for downtown markets; it’s all gangbangers and whores now and I’ve never seen a harder man than Ramon the night cook who clearly takes no shit from anyone and makes hot food with cold eyes and a sharp cleaver at midnight on Broadway and the only thing I can think of to say is "Dos burros al pastor. Con todo. Para llevar. Por favor."