Friday, March 18, 2016


Bernardino de Sahagún, "La Historia Universal de las Cosas
de Nueva España," aka "The Florentine Codex," 1577

Nahua people call it “skunk sweat,” epazōtl
at a good taqueria you may find it in chilaquiles,
but you’ll taste it for sure in beans. If Pythagoras
had known about epazote, he’d have understood
that adding it to the beanpot was a way to ensure
any transiting soul who’d stowed away in a legume
would transmigrate before consumption, at the first
creosote-tarragon breath. Poor Pythagoras only knew
Old World beans. New World legumes, tendrils all coiled
and overwinding the maize, hadn’t yet crossed the sea to
bean-shy Pythagoreans who’d never imagined Nahua souls.

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