Jeff Schiff
Machismo


Although I do not regularly suckle
at the alluring tit of popular culture
I must confess

that no matter my hunt
not once did Elvis present himself
in the avocado capital of the world

Uruapan
alternately known as
the Place of Eternal Blossoms

the Cradle of Lacquerware
the City of Progress
and

from the Purépecha:
When a Plant Both Blooms
and Bears Fruit at the Same Time

My disappointment began at the bus station
in the men’s room eyeing stall doors
and dogged me into the historical center

I figured I was entitled to ask
in this land of asking
Perhaps there was a shrine

I could go down before
hastily to one knee
a sacred Senora del Rey

hereabouts
a hand-tooled box into which I could deposit a few coins
in earnest cooperation

The King mind you
and not those flexing
for bare-chested portraits in the park

or those going deep
for vengeful phlegm as they cursed my curiosity
or those blasting pulque

& honeywater shots in swingdoor cantinas
The King goddamit
and not the bony Tupelo crooner

or the bloated Las Vegas lush
but the one just tuning
into the deep frequency of testosterone

99 point 7
on the I’ll kick your sorry macho ass
across the central Michoacan dial