“Feed: Auténtica” by Tano Rubio

Tano Rubio


The isolation of this existence has led many to take
refuge in such forms of interaction as the Internet
—from The Karma of Brown Folk

When the For You page on TikTok
started showing me videos en español,
I sunk deeper in the sheets:
Pensando sobre el trapo que mi familia usa
pa’ las tortillas, dedos leafing
through folds of time:
One video says that tortillas are the oldest
tradition still alive on this continent
& as masa slides down the throat
to rest in la panza, the acid breaking down
molecules, sorting nutrient from waste,
podemos recordar que el cuerpo
keeps what makes it grow
& anyway, yo siempre guardo
at least one piece until the end of my meal,
so that when my plate needs to be cleaned,
I have something to clear the flat wet
& when I show the Spanish teacher
at my school a video that explains
a brief history of the tortilla,
her eyes blink like textbook pages,
scanning for answers to bubble
on a test
Ella pregunta si las piezas I rip off
are used as one would use a spoon,
to scoop & shovel: An observation she made
during her cross-cultural experience
in Latin America
& I begin to sink, only this time
there are no sheets in which to recede:
tengo solo mi celular
& I want to lock & return it to my pocket
pero the video keeps looping over & over & over
hasta la historia is but an echo,
& my palm becomes a chamber

from Rattle #79, Spring 2023


Tano Rubio: “Thank god for TikTok and its endless stream of content. Without it, I would have nothing but time.” (web)

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