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.