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Anselmo's Moment With God

September 09, 1990

By ALBERTO RIOS

Anselmo in a fit of pique

Over a spatula he could not find

As the eggs were burning

And as he did not yet have the services

Of the housekeeper Mrs. M.

He would have in later years,

Renounced his love of God

And of the world, right there.

He threw the drawer of utensils to the ground

And let the eggs burn dry

Until they gave texture to

And became part of the black iron pan itself.

Every day for the rest of his life

He remembered himself that moment--

Himself but not the event:

His spatula became through the years

The Hand of God.

Of God's smell

He could not be certain:

Only that the burning of candles

Had for him a certain urgency.

From "Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses," (W.W. Norton: $17.95; 0-393-02868-2). Rios teaches at Arizona State University. His first book of poetry, "Whispering to Fool the Wind," won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. copyright 1990, Alberto Rios. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton & Co.

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